Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another Scottish Leader Bites the Dust

Not sure if I'm the first with this or not but I have just learned that the leader of the LibDems in Scotland is resigning from the job later tonight or tomorrow. This may not be big news in Westminster but it will cause a few ripples north of the border.

So, two Scottish leaders resign within a week. What's the betting there could be a third before the end of the month? And I am not talking about Annabelle Goldie or Alex Salmond!


Newmania said...

While we touch on the contitutional dog`s breakfast Labour have made of the union , don`t you wish Tony Blair`s last act was to say to the Scots "I release you.... " Cherie baby would have sniggered , and so would I

marcia said...

your talking about Gordon Brown..

Anonymous said...

He's just confirmed that he's going. Sounds a bit odd to me...

Richard Havers said...

So first it's Wee Wendy and now Non-entity Nicol, you really couldn't make it up. Apparently the reason is he wants to spend more time with his family! Well, given his leadership performance since the election then I cannot imagine he's spent much time away from his family, other than that as a regular MSP, because he's been practically invisible. The sad and somewhat worrying thing about all this is the imploding nature of Scottish politics. You'd really think that most of them were in it for the money and the opportunity to be important, because there seems so little of substance going on right now.

This all plays right into the hands of the SNP who are making everyone else look pretty silly and ineffectual while they themselves are hardly doing a stellar job, but it's a bit like anything in life. Why waste a lot of effort when you don't really need to. The opportunity to serve one's country is so important yet we seem to be lumbered with a lot of self serving lightweights.zvcowe

DougtheDug said...

He's gone. The BBC posted the story at 21:23

Anonymous said...

Well done Iain. The BBC have just caught up with you.

This is a shock. There must be more to this than spending time with the family.

Could it be the Aberdeen bypass inquiry which he gerrymandered to keep the road away from his own constituency?

I suspect sleeze.

Antony said...

He has apparently resigned because of the strain it has had on his family; no problem with that after all Alan Milburn did the same.

However, I am rather curious about the timing. After the disasterous result in Henley, this resignation could put more pressure on Clegg and will provide a distraction from Labour's woes. It also means the party will fight the Glasgow by-election, along with Labour, leaderless.

Could he not have hung on a few weeks more, even until the end of July or resign after the summer recess? It is just the worst time to go; so why go now?

An odd decision, but either way I wish Nicol Stephen well and trust our pressurised 24-7 political life hasn't broken another career - can politicans have a work-life balance?

Skip said...

If I'm being generous then I suppose I could say nicol stephen only landed about 1 or 2 punches on Salmond at First Ministers questions. On the whole he performed poorly and on occassion he embarrased himself with dreadful questions attempts just like wendy alexander.

this was one of the more brutal encounters with salmond. salmond finished up his scathing reply with a 'happy christmas'!:

he suffered from being part of the previous Lib-Lab coalition - it meant whilst salmond bashed Labour he could also turn and mock the liberals. Any time nicol stephen or wendy alexander criticised the SNP it was easy for salmond to ask what they had been doing in the prevous 8 years when they had ample time to sort it out themselves.

The immediate favourite for the job is Tavish Scott. In my opinion he has more bite than nicol stephen (that wouldn't be difficult).... but he comes across is a jobsworth cretin.

Mike Rumbles stood previously. He is more humourous and more likable in my view than Tavish Scott. He has a tad more common sense too. However, I think he suffers from being perceived as a bit of a maverick or rebel.

Can't see Ross Finnie standing - he is a senior figure and has served in the previous administration as a minister. Problem is he would be like Captain Manwaring re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

The other MSPs are so characterless and follow their leader like sheep than they would be unrecognisable to the average Scot. They didnt do nearly enough to extract consessions whilst they propped up labour in government.

An interesting time ahead... two opposition parties Leaderless going into the Glasgow East by-election and summer recess. The Liberals in Scotland have a dreadfully low profile and since the fall of Kennedy and Ming at UK level they are less Scottish than before. Clegg is unknown up here.

One further point is that Alexander and Stephen were two of he architects of the Calman Commission into devolution and possible revision of the devoltion settlement. What will the next Lib-Lab leaders make of that??

tapestry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SRH said...

I'm guessing newmania that you were also watching a repeat of Mock the Week on Dave as that was word for word the joke that Dara O'Braian made.

As for Nicol Stephen there was a rumour last year that Nicol Stephen wanted out/Tavish Scott was putting pressure on over his poor performance but they felt that losing one leader (Ming) was bad enough. To lose two would look very careless.

wrinkled weasel said...

So what's the real story? Has Nicol been naughty? Has some red top rag threatened to go to print with some tawdry story about him, a prozzie and a game of twister that got out of hand in a Dundee Travel Lodge?

Blimey, Richard Havers (Interesting local blog) must be a neighbour. But it won't stop me going round and remonstrating with him about his cynical blanket opinion on Scottish politics.

Some people, even within the Scottish Government, think that the SNP is a breath of fresh air. I do too. For a start, they are proper socialists. They are also managing to run the country without tearing their colleagues to pieces or being caught on the fiddle. What more can they do? The Lib Dems recently criticised them for undermining foreign investment, and yet the whole Donald Trump affair was stalled because of a power mad Lib Dem councillor, who went against local popular opinion. The SNP has abolished toll charges, frozen council tax when many down south are being squeezed, they are phasing out prescription charges and providing free school dinners. They are also banning the sale of newbuild council and housing association homes under the "right to buy scheme - hardly a vote winning sop to the aspiring classes is it? Maybe not "stellar" but not the crappy bugger up that is happening down South.

The Lib Dems will have their comeuppence. Their support in the country has plummeted to a stingey 4% with many Lib Dems defecting to the SNP.

The Lib Dems elected not to support the SNP and therefore do not have the influence they would have had as a coalition partner. Somehow it makes me wonder what they are actually doing in Scotland?

trevorsden said...

'Tavish Scot', 'Mick Rumbles', 'Ross Finnie' ?

You're making these names up aren't you?

And someone has even mentioned a 'Donald Trump' - come on we're not that daft south of the border.

simon said...

Well, on Scotland's gratest daily- (not the Record: ie) isn't Gordon Brown doing a GOOD job and aren't Labour wonderful)- The Scotsman- holds the front page and puts Nicol's resignation on p11!!! I wonder what the internal Scottish LD polls were on their ex-leader's performance. I would bet:'not good.' The 'media pundits' up here may well have thought NS 'got the better' of Big Eck at FMQ's, but i thought NS came across as churlish, over-agressive, and a bit of a tosser (considering the LD's are closer to the SNP policy wise than any of the others). We shall see if the real leader of the Scottish LD's- Tavish Scott- has the bottle to actually get elected to the post!

neil craig said...

When he took over the party had placed 2nd at the Westminster elections, their polls had been going up & they were generaly considered the only party destined to be in any possible SDcottish government.

Since then (& since they expelled me for traditional liberalism) they have become 4th party in Holyrood, are out of government & polls in free fall.

Nicol was chosen for being photogenic not for brains. Thus he was able to say on TV that "nuclear is the easy answer" before going on to explain that it must thus be strangled because if it wasn't yhe proles would never be willing to subsidise windmills. On Question Time he accused the Jews of a war crime, by destroying an electricity substation in Gaza, clearly being unaware that NATO had destroyed many power generators in Yugoslavia in the LibDim supported campaign to help the Nazi inspired KLA in their campaign of genocide.

Tavish is pretty much his ugly sister. Ross Finnie has a good record of taking tough economic decisions & is 1 of only 2 politicians I am aware of who said in advance that the Thatcher government's policy of shadowing the EMU was unsustainable (the other being Thatcher). He did say anybody doubting we are currently experiencing catastrophic warming was "from Mars" but a little idiocy can be forgiven. Mike Rumbles talks well of supporting freedom (though he didn't seem so supportive when the smoking ban was being introduced) & has somehwat hedged his position on the party's anti-nuclear lunacy.

DougtheDug said...

From the Herald.
Mr Stephen insisted at the time that Nationalist plans for an independence referendum were a "fundamental barrier" to any deal.

But today Mr Rumbles insisted it was for Liberal Democrat members to decide whether or not they backed a referendum.

wrinkled weasel:
It could be that the Lib-Dems in Scotland have decided to support a referendum on Scottish independence as refusing to ask the question leaves them looking anti-democratic and out in the cold.

Nicol Stephen is a fanatic unionist and was willing to stop any coalition with the SNP based purely on his dislike of independence with support from Ming Campbell.

Maybe he refused to take anything to do with asking the Scots what they wanted and resigned in a huff over a change in Lib-Dem support for an independence referendum.

For English readers, in case you think the Scottish Lib-Dems have gone nationalist, even if the Lib-Dems support a referendum they will fight against independence as they are hard-line unionists.