Tuesday, September 13, 2011
David Cameron appoints Scottish advisers, 'spectators', the real fight for Scotland is Glasgow, SNP VS Labour, the key to independence
When the Tories won the biggest number of seats at Westminster, the thorny issue of Scotland arose, so they offloaded it to their coalition partners the Lib Dems.
The Tories only had a single MP in the shape of David Mundell, who saw his Sec State for Scotland position cruelly snatched from him.
The Scottish issue never went away it was just kicked into the long grass with some nonsense about respect.
That crap didn’t last long and probably never existed beyond the public face of politics.
So, David Cameron and Downing Street has decided to bring in fresh eyes and increase its focus on Scotland.
He has appointed two key members of staff who will help co-ordinate policy towards Scottish matters across Whitehall.
It is the smart move, he can’t trust the Scottish Tories and the independence referendum campaign is looming.
Christine Jardine, a former writer with The Herald and an ex-Liberal Democrat candidate in Scotland, has been taken on by the Prime Minister as a special adviser.
Allan Ross, a civil servant, is to manage Scottish matters at an official level within Downing Street.
A senior Whitehall source told The Herald:
“This confirms that we understand we have to make sure that the Scotland situation is properly focused. It’s important to make sure all parts of government are tied together and that there is proper communication across departments, especially with the campaign ahead.”
And in true A Team fashion, two weeks ago the soon to be legendary quad squad was born.
They have a calling from ‘Quad’.
Disciples of Quad, David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne and his deputy Danny Alexander met for the first time to discuss Scotland.
How long have they been in Government?
The key to Scotland is Glasgow that is the nub of it.
If the Labour Party holds Glasgow, there will be no vote in favour of independence.
So, both the Tories and the Lib Dems are in the unique situation that they are ‘Labour’ supporters.
The fight for the city will be extremely hard for both the Labour Party and the SNP, Labour are favourite but the SNP are buoyed up from their Holyrood result will hope that carries them past the finishing line to be the majority.
Things however aren’t clear cut.
The Labour Party has culled its deadwood and is bring in high profile candidates such as Frank MacAveety and Bill Butler.
A special campaign is going to be run by the Labour Party to hold the City of Glasgow that was always going to happen in my opinion.
Both the Labour Party and the SNP will have to pull out all the stops, every seat in Glasgow will have to be treated like a separate by-election.
Unfortunately, human resources for that type of campaign are very thin on the ground, so a specific ward approached will no doubt be adopted.
No one can say they are sitting in a safe seat in both the SNP and Labour Party, it’s an election and anything can happen.
Political Activists will have to fight harder and longer than they have ever done, for those involved it will mean giving up everything for their respective parties.
Whether people will be willing to do that, remains to be seen but both Cameron’s advisors know, they are spectators, two teams will take the field and they aren’t in either.
The fate on Scotland rests on the people of Glasgow.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University