Thursday, July 27, 2006

Douglas Alexander

The current Secretary of State for Scotland (and Transport), Douglas Alexander, launched the opening salvo of Labour's summer strategy for tackling David Cameron yesterday evening at Labour HQ in London. The timing is obvious. We're now into the silly season so it was gauranteed to get coverage, while there are the all-important elections to the Scottish Parliament next May. Alexander used some nice lines, but it's difficult to think of another Scottish Secretary who occupied a similarly strategic position within their party. The last Conservative Scottish Secretary, Michael Forsyth, was a noted campaigner, but as far as I know he was never involved in UK-party strategy.

Alexander's speech focussed on three Conservative proposals (Europe, Scotland and Transport) which mirror his former brief as Minister for Europe, and his current twin brief of the Scotland Office and the Department for Transport. On English Votes for English Laws, the Scottish Secretary warns that "naive Notting Hill nationalism...could end up breaking up the United Kingdom".

You can read the full text of Alexander's speech by clicking here.


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