Monday, August 27, 2007

Des Browne

Yesterday's Scotland on Sunday had an interesting article on the Scottish Secretary Des Browne and his attempts to re-energise the Scotland Office following the SNP's election win in May.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

John McTernan

Interesting news in today's Scotsman that John McTernan, previously Tony Blair's politicial secretary at Downing Street, has been appointed special adviser to Des Browne, the Scottish Secretary, so there is in fact life after Blair. McTernan is a bright and decent chap who also used to do a thoughtful column for Scotland on Sunday; this blog wishes him well, particularly as he has to help reconcile his new boss's line on extra powers for the Scottish Parliament with Wendy Alexander's, which the Scotsman seems to think are in conflict.

Update: 23 August 2007
Not so, reports the Scotsman today. On a visit to Edinburgh yesterday, the Scottish Secretary insisted that he meant the SNP's referendum white paper was a 'Trojan Horse' for independence, not greater powers for Holyrood.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lord Forsyth and the independence referendum

Today's newspapers have followed up an interesting story in yesterday's Sunday Times which reported that Lord Forsyth, the former Scottish Secretary, had urged Annabel Goldie, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, to back the SNP's desired referendum on independence. His argument is that it would almost certainly be defeated at the hands of the electorate and therefore scupper the cause of separatism for a generation.

You can read the Herald's account of the story, or Alan Cochrane's amusing (and, I think, correct) reaction in the Telegraph.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Whither the Scotland Office

Yet another attack on the Scotland Office from the Liberal Democrat's in Friday's Scotsman, this time from the party's new Shadow Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, while it has also been branded a 'pointless relic' by a chap from the Taxpayers' Alliance.

The Scotsman also devoted an editorial to the subject, which you can read some of by clicking here, while Alan Cochrane launched a spirited defence of the former Scottish Office in his Telegraph column the following day, not least the departments entertainment allowance.