Friday, September 28, 2007

Bill Hughes

There was an amusing gaffe in the Scottish Parliament yesterday when First Minister Alex Salmond referred to the industrialist Bill Hughes as if he'd left us some time ago. The Herald has a full account of the exchanges.

Bill Hughes didn't quite draw up the structure of Scottish Enterprise on the back of a cigarette packet; he was chairman of Grampian Holdings and a leader of the CBI in Scotland when he bypassed the Scottish Secretary (Malcolm Rifkind) and presented Margaret Thatcher with his scheme to solve Scottish unemployment by reforming the SDA.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mike Elrick

A belated post about the return of former Government special adviser Mike Elrick to the Labour fold, this time as an adviser to Wendy Alexander as the new leader of Labour in Scotland. Many moons ago Mike was special adviser to John Reid when he was the first post-devolution Scottish Secretary. He then fell out with the Labour Party and I remember reading a particularly negative parting shot in the Scotsman.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Henry McLeish

Interesting story in today's Scotland on Sunday about a new book written by the former Scottish Office minister and First Minister Henry McLeish (and his journalist pal Tom Brown) called The Road Divides, which is being launched tomorrow to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the devolution referendum. In it, McLeish argues that the Scottish Secretary Des Browne and his 'London Labour' colleagues are endangering the Union by refusing to consider additional powers for the Scottish Parliament (although what these actually are no one seems to be articulating).

The book is being launched with a press conference on Monday morning (11am) at the Hub in Edinburgh.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Duke of Buccleuch

It was announced earlier today (Tuesday) that the Duke of Buccleuch had died aged 83. He was the MP for North Edinburgh from 1960-73, and served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to both Jack Maclay and Michael Noble as Secretaries of State for Scotland from 1962-64. The Daily Telegraph, as usual, has a lengthy obituary, as does The Times, while I did one for today's Scotsman; today's Independent also has a typically personal account by Tam Dalyell.

Michael Ancram

The Daily Telegraph today carries a story about the former Scottish Office minister and chairman of the Scottish Conservatives Michael Ancram, who has warned David Cameron to 'stop trashing Thatcher legacy' of the Conservatives. He's outlined his views in an alternative manifesto (or less sexily a policy document) called Still a Conservative.

Chris Harvie

The political academic Christopher Harvie, now (perhaps) better known as an MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, has an interesting article on Guardian Unlimited's Comment is Free, calling for the Scotland Office to become a 'House of Scotland' to promote Scotland in London.