Sunday, 21 March 2010


I was interested in the Herald’s lead story this morning about Jack McConnell having held “secret” talks about securing a role in an incoming Conservative government.

According to the paper’s story Jack met William Hague to talk about what role he could perform in a new Tory government after the election in May. Clearly Jack has little confidence in there being a Labour government in June!

Since losing the election and behaving like a bairn throwing his toys out of the pram and being succeeded as leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament, Jack has had a hard time trying to make a mark in international relations instead of getting on with the job we pay him to as MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw. Blair had promised that he would be the next High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Malawi, but that fell through when it was realised that a by-election in his seat might well mean another Labour defeat.

It is said that he was to be sent to the Lords; a possibility given his 6 year term as First Minister of the second biggest country in the union, but this also failed to materialise.

McConnell was appointed by the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (an organisation set up by President Clinton and Tom Hunter to alleviate poverty in Malawi and Rwanda) to provide educational advice. He was also appointed Gordon Brown’s special representative on “conflict resolution mechanisms”, although exactly what experience he has to offer that role is not clear.

I actually quite like Jack McConnell. I’ve met with him and I found him interesting and interested in what he was being told, but I have yet to have it explained to me how someone who is roving the world resolving conflicts, at a huge cost, can possibly be attending the parliament in Edinburgh and giving his full attention to the work of that parliament and the interests of his constituents.

If he no longer finds the job in Edinburgh to his liking, or beneath his dignity, he should have the guts to stand down and look for something he feels is more to his taste....Ambassador, Conflict Resolver, International Playboy, whatever. It is what the rest of us do.

I’d be happy for him to have a job under the Tories. The man seems to have a genuine interest in Africa and in Malawi in particular. There may well be a role for him. However, he can hardly be a Labour MSP and a Tory official. One of the jobs will have to go. As the SNP’s John Wilson said: “The voters of Motherwell and Wishaw are being reminded once again that they are being represented by a part-time MSP, who is happier to jaunt around the world than he is dealing with issues in his own constituency.”

Aye Mr Wilson, but he’s being paid as a full time MP out of OUR money.

Pictures: Jack McConnell in...erm....a skirt: A Malawian street market.



  1. Ye've got tae feel sorry fer Jack, the first minister tae be chucked by the people. He's no really breedin' confidence in his pairty tho.

    The tories are comin'! The tories are comin'!

  2. Did you like his legs Sophia?

  3. Poor old jack been treated really bad by his Labour pals aint he so has now turned to the tories.

  4. Big time Munguin. They promised him everything and gave him nothing.... so it's not that surprising he's joining the Tories

    After all, you couldn't get a gnat's hair between them on most things, so he'll probably feel at home.

  5. Ah aye like lookin' at that photie. It gies me a chuckle every time. He looks fair pleased wi' hissel. An' the auld man in the bunnet's haein' a rare time intae the bit. If Jack shoogles his erse ony mair the fly guy'll blaw a gasket! Whit thae get up tae oan the West Coast's naebody's business. Their mothers should hing their heids, an' their faithers should huv their pays docked.

    Can ye smell it? Can ye smell the awfy reek o' corpulence, emanatin' fae the corpse that wis the Scottish Labour Pairty? Oh, that it wid lie doon an' die. Oh, that it wid gie up the ghost. That it wid own up tae its interminable black heart, its false promises and its failed policies.

    Take another look at the photie and laugh.

  6. Yes, well Sophia, it's not really going to do that is it, so I'll just have a little laugh at wee Joke McC, and his bonnie wee skirt. The old bloke probably thinks its a lassie with short hair...., or whatever.... like you say, there's no real accounting for West Coasters (sorry Mum)....

  7. I do love the expression on that guy's face. He seems to be thinking about calling the police....LOL.

  8. Barak Obama and US Healthcare Reform
    (my part in the success

    Bugger --

    For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

    Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

    Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

    Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

    And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

    But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

    It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

    It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

    And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

    This is what change looks like.

    My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

    This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

    Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

    We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

    Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

    Thank you,

    President Barack Obama

  9. I kent Whacko Jacko when we were students at the same establishment in the early 80's. He wiz a decent spud then but a truly political machine who would happily sell his granny to advance in the pairty. Machiavellian or sumfink. I was sittin readin a paper at Embra airport many years later when Jacko came up to say "HIYA!" - he was Education Secretary then and i was mighty impressed that he was ersed to be so polite.

    Anyway, aye, he's a bit o a job graspin bam and should mos def resign his seat and let the SNP reduce their minority at Holyrood.

    Bugger, yer a wee bit off subject but, it's barry news that Obama got some sorta healthcare reform bill passed at last. Seemed obscene that the richest nation on earth wouldnae want to look after its own people.

  10. I wuz that man

  11. Barak and I ur like that!

    I'm expecting a call in a few hours when it is 8am in Washington. They have already moved to summertime but I am buggered if I can work it out of that is 6 or 5 or 7 hours of difference for me at the zoo.

  12. LOL Danny... wouldn't you if you saw a man in a skirt with his hands on his hips standing posing for the cameras? (Well unless you were Spohia and fancied his legs"

  13. Bugger:

    As Naldo says, it's slightly off topic, but I'm glad you brought it up. It is indeed fantastic news for President Obama and Americans, who as he said are one seeious illness away from bankruptsy.

    Well done the Democrats. It was a hard fight against vested interests and, it's not the perfect solution, but it's a very good start, and like the reforms foreseen by President Kennedy, and brought in by President Johnston, it is another base upon which further reforms can be built.

    Thanks for mentioning it. What you you think of Jack in his......... erm .........."kilt"?

  14. Yes Tris.....A great day for Obama and the Democrats in the US. But I never get those great letters from the Prez that Bugger receives. :-(

    As for Jack, shouldn't he have a sporran with his kilt? (I could be wrong about that...LOL.)

  15. Naldo:

    The way you describe Jack is the way I imagined him to be. As I said, when he was First Minister, I did meet him and talk to him about a project I was working on. There was no side to Jack, he was just Jack, just anothr bloke, and having met some right pompous twerps who were so full of themselves, and far less important than First Minister, I was mightily impressed. But you don't get to where he got without having a streak of ruthlessness in you, and that goes for all parties.

    Still, I wish Jack well in his future career.... I just think that the future should be the future. You can plan it while your living in the present, but you shouldn't be living it.

    In short... get on with the job WE ARE PAYING YOU TO DO Jack and leave Africa and conflict resolution until you finish with it next year.

  16. Danny....

    Well duh, you're not a panda....

    Yeah, wee jock should have had a sporran on and frankly he looks just plain weird without it...

    Maybe the photographer didn't have time to wait until he got it all fixed up....

  17. Danny, if you look at the startled "voyeur" just behind oor Joke you will guess that it was feeeeezzziiin that day.

    Maybe the sporran just dropped off like it does with other brass monkies.

  18. Get tae Cumbernauld the lot o' ye. Ye widnae wear a sporran wi' a pin-stripe kilt wid ye? Wid ye no be better wi' an auld school tie, or a bowler-hat if ye were really well-endowed?

    Ah dae worry that the wind'll pick up, catch the bingo-wings oan his shirt, and wheech him oaf tae a far-flung desolate spot, like Glasca Airport mibbe

  19. Ah huv tae keep lookin' at that photie. Ah need cheerin' up, efter the day ah've had. Ah went ma messages this mornin' an' did ah no forget tae take ma "10p oaf a half a loaf" vouchers an' ma "Twa fur the price o wan" coupons. So ah had tae come aw' the way back, climb that hill and thae three hunner stairs. Ah had the papers sittin' oot ready oan the sideboard, ma Sunday Post an' ma Peoples' Friend an' ma Times o' London but ah couldnae find ma scissors.

    Here when ah turned roon' wis the fly boy no sittin' in the tub clippin' his nails! Wi' ma guid scissors. Ah shouted at him, ah shouted "Hey! Pit that tub back where ye found it, ye know it's just fer show. Ye can awa' doon tae the Victoria Baths an' have a spray if ye're that bothered. An' put yer claes oan, ye'll catch yer death!"

    Ah managed tae wrestle the scissors oot o' his haund an' got oan wi' ma clippin' an' oaf ah went fer ma messages.

    Well did ah no get there tae find they were aw' shut? Woolworths wis shut, ah went up tae Golbergs, it wis sh,well, it wisnae there, an even PT's wis shut. So ah wis standin' there, up at the Tron, flummoxed ah wis, when this funny wee bauchle sauntered right up in front o' me an' stairtit dancin' an jiggin' an' swingin' its hips aboot wi' its haunds perched oan its waist, winkin' an' blinkin' and kinda leerin' it me. Then it dawned oan me. It wis Susan Boyle oan tour.

    Noo ah look at that photie again, ah'm no sae sure it wis Susan.

  20. Still no call from ma pal Barak.

    Spect he is on the hotline to Gordon who will be giving tips on how to run his NHS.

  21. Nothing to do with your splendid article - like most of my comments - but my daughter bought me a DVD of long-time-ago comedians - it's where I get all my jokes from - and the wee guy behind our Jack is the spitting image of the old-time comedian Arthur Haines. It's probably just coincidence. Niko will remember him.

  22. Brownlie... Niko probably IS him....

    Hey I don't mind if your comments are nothing to do with my articles... they are always interesting, and more than welcome.

    I seem to have heard the name Arthur Haines.... Was he in old films?

  23. Bugger... he's probably been up all night celebrating.... give him time!

  24. Sophia my sweet... you paint a day of utter misery... but you paint it beautifully and made me and my mum laugh out loud when we read it....

  25. Having looked again at that picture I think he could easily take on the role of fairy queen for the Tories if nothing else.

  26. Ew er Munguin. Mind your manners.