Sunday, 6 June 2010


Thank goodness that at least the Liberal-Tory Government in London is going to be more co-operative with the SNP government in Edinburgh over attendance at meetings. A clear signal of this is that Stewart Stevenson, the Scottish environment minister, will be part of a UK delegation to climate change talks in Luxembourg. Now whether or not you believe that climate change is happening you have to accept that the world, including Mr Obama and Mr Hu, is talking about it. So it’s important in that it is being discussed at top level.

It is less the subject for discussion, and much more that any discussion takes account of the Edinburgh government.

The Scottish Government has made repeated attempts to get ministers on British delegations but when Labour was in charge at Westminster it was met with a big fat NO, based I’m sure on the last prime minister’s passionate and paranoid hatred of the SNP and indeed of Scotland as a country. He preferred to refer to the area north of England as North Britain.


According to the Caledonian Mercury, Labour even turned down requests for Scottish ministers to represent British interests during the election campaign, when the relevant UK minister was busy campaigning at home and had no time to travel abroad. On each occasion Labour refused the Scottish Government’s requests, almost certainly because it did not want to give the SNP extra kudos and status internationally.


Possibly to make Labour ministers appear churlish and mean-spirited (not hard to do) the Liberal-Tory coalition has invited Mr Stevenson to Luxembourg as part of the British delegation.

Mr Stevenson asked to be part of the British team because of the Scottish Government’s commitment to tough new climate change targets and its experience in reducing carbon emissions. There’s going to be a lot of work in the green economy, and whether we believe in it or not, it can bring Scotland a lot of jobs, and manufacturing ones, which we all agree we need desperately.

Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has agreed to Mr Stevenson’s request whilst pointing out, reasonably, that th
e UK was the sovereign member state in the EU and would maintain a single negotiating line.

Michael Moore (SoS) said: “The First Minister has said his government will measure our agenda in deeds rather than words and the inclusion of the Scottish Environment Minister is just the latest practical sign we take a constructive relationship with the Scottish Government seriously.

“There is no doubt we have a common agenda when it comes to tackling climate change and there is much we can do together to work towards reducing the UK’s emissions.”

It’s a start. Scottish ministers regularly took part in these events when Labour was in power in both London and Edinburgh, but when the SNP took over, Scotland was seen as the enemy and had to be put down. The Tories respect agenda including Scotland in EU talks is a start.

Now we need some power to deal with the Fisheries problem. The one that Scotland is best placed to do something about... and the one that Labour was determined to keep us away from.


  1. It would seem David Cameron has accepted Richard Lochhead is best placed to speak about fishing Tris.

  2. Tris

    "Scotland was seen as the enemy and had to be put down.'

    Is a transparent lie designed to inflame xenophobic rage in the Nationalist(minority ) an easy thing to do.

    The snp are the self declared Enemy of the British state and they work unceasingly aand tirelessly to undermine and tear apart the British state.

    the snp are the enemy of the British state the enemy of Scotland within the United Kingdom and they are the enemy of any scot who wishes to remain within the Union.

    It is right and proper to protect the British state from those who seek to destroy it and that is the snp and it's minority of deluded supporters.

  3. Tris.

    The very fact that the new government is talking, and even in some cases like the one you have mentioned, have even invited the Scottish government onto the same platform as UK ministers is a very positive step.

    On paper you would think by looking at the SNP's manifesto (excluding the constitution) the SNP was closer to labour than the Tories yet in reality Labour despise the SNP more than they despise the Tories.

    All through Gordon Brown's tenure he and his lackluster Scottish contingent dismissed the Scottish Government as irrelevant and refused to even acknowledge them.

    In international terms its a bit like China refusing to recognise the government of Taiwan. I will never forgive the way Labour treated the Scottish government and hope they are confined to the political history books and never again return to power.

  4. Mr mixed xenophobic

    Typical rubbish from someone who lives in the dark and thinks Labour are all things nice.
    Are you jealous because David Cameron and Alex Salmond are at least trying to work positively?

    Scottish Labour are all about grievances from the past and their MP's are elected on a platform of fear.

    Anyone who remotely understands politics in Scotland would never vote for Labour. Labour have conditioned and manipulated a hard core of Scottish voters by waving generous state handouts and anti Torie rhetoric in their faces and I see you are one of the conditioned robots, one that has obviously short circuited into something horrible.

  5. Tris

    I would urge some caution with the Condem respect agenda. All we have had thus far are warm words and very little action.

    It is a small step that Mr Stevenson is going, but lets wait and see if he gets to take any meaningful part.

    Another example of the "respect" agenda here,

    Looks to me like we will respect you as long as you do what you are told.

    Other examples include the oil fund money, when will we see it if ever? Or how about "no more child detention" at Gartnavel. Did anyone else like me think that when Tavis spoke that the Condems had stopped child detention? No they made a bad situation worse by moving the child detention south of the border.

    Am I alone in think that these are weasel words from a weasel government? I will reserve judgment until I see some positive action. Thus far the words do not impress me.

  6. Dubbieside

    "I would urge some caution with the Condem respect agenda. All we have had thus far are warm words and very little action"

    I agree but it's a far cry from no words and absolutely no action from Labour. On action the Con/Dem gov have contacted and met the Scottish gov. They will almost release the fuel levy money (£180m) to the Scottish gov and are in talks over a few other important issues.

    The link you have provided from the Scotsman does highlight some tensions that will come up over the next few months and there will be more to come but anything is better than the vile relationship that Labour wanted with the Scottish gov.

  7. Allan

    As I said I will believe the fuel levy money when I see it being handed over to its rightful owner.

    What is so hard about writing the check?

    I agree than anything should be better that the lack of relationship between Labour in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood, but words are cheap. Actions are what counts.

  8. My apologies to the English government to mr Lockhead... and to you SR, for having missed your post.

    I agree with you that DL should write a post on the subject, (and if you're reading this DL, you're welcome to post it here if you don't want to put it on your own blog.) He obviously knows an awful lot about it, and it is a subject on which there is a lot of hot air and probably most of us don't know a hell of a lot about it.

    But, back to the post. Yes it does seem that we are getting a look in here as well. So well done to the co-operation between the two governments.

  9. Niko

    Do you really believe that the SNP are the enemy to the British state?

    I ask, because at Glenrothes when I was standing on a polling station I had a very elderly wizened man come along and spit vile nonsense at me about being a traitor and an enemy etc, to the point that both his granddaughter who was taking him to the polls and my Labour counterpart on the gate were left embarrassed and apologising on his behalf.

    I thought better of you. But then I know you like your wee joke, as much and more than most, so I’m just checking up here.... this was a joke, right?

  10. Allan:

    The SNP describes itself as a left of centre political party, so in theory they should be closer to Labour, but, in so many ways Blair blurred the distinction moving Labour so far to the right that it was aligned with the Republicans in America, the right wing parties in Italy and Spain and was way to the right of Chirac's party in France.

    So it's hard to tell now. Added to that the Labour Party's Scottish branch has adjusted its policies to “anything which the SNP suggests, we are against”, as seen by their efforts to stop us building council houses, or to propose things which the head office in London has approved of. You know that daft wee twitchy bloke taking a line opposing the SNP’s only to find it wasn’t what head office in England was saying.

    So, I’m not sure that the SNP is nearer the Tories. Maybe on some things.... but, who can tell these days, particularly now that the Tories in England are in coalition with the only real left wing party they had left.

  11. Dubbieside

    I completely agree. One swallow and all that, and I take on board the rather weird attitude for Liberal to take over the tax raising powers seeing as they are a federalist party.

    Their problem with the local income tax in Scotland as proposed by the SNP was that it defied democracy because the rate was set nationally and not locally. So why wouldn’t they want UK taxes to be set in the individual countries?

    But politics aside I give credit where it is due. The nonsensical carry on where Scottish ministers were completely ignored just because they were SNP and the idiot prime minister had a visceral hatred of Scotland, because he thought it might put the south east of England off him if he appeared to favour anything Scottish, had to finish with his overturn.

    I’m no Tory, but, as I say, credit where it’s due and caution, because there may very well be an ulterior motive....

  12. Dubbieside.

    You may well be right but warm words are better than the bitterness from labour.

  13. Tris.

    The Scottish branch of London Labour is lost in transcript. They claim to be working class yet as you said vote against ideas like more affordable housing. At least the English branch of labour doesn't hide the fact that they are Tory.

    I wasn't suggesting that the SNP was closer to the Tory party than Labour but was pointing out due to Labour's negative attacks towards the SNP you would be forgiven in thinking that the SNP and the Tories were closer from a Labour perspective.

    I used to argue with Omar on his blog, and a few others too would also argue with him, about his Tory leaning attitudes and his dislike towards the unions and why we should move on from the fright that was Thatcher and give David Cameron a chance.

    In a way I think the lad had a point and although I would never contemplate on voting Tory in Scotland I could be persuaded to vote for them if I lived down south. He also made a very good point towards Labour and that was not every SNP supporter would naturally prefer Labour over the Tories. Lol it generated a lot of debate on that post but in the end if I'm correct at least half the SNP supporters on his blog agreed with him.

  14. LOL Allan, we all ended up agreeing with Spookie. He was very persuasive...

    No joking apart, I think Oms and I had a few discussions about that on his blog and in emails. My inclination is left on somethings, right on others... I think his is too. Just on different things. Lord, I miss our emails.

    Of course all parties are broad churches as they say... but surely none moreso than the SNP which includes people from the far left and from the hard right, who are united in one thing... that their country should not comprise the one last sizable part of the English empire.

    But, as I say, Labour has far right nutters like Tony Blair and lefties like Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner; the Tories range from people like Ken Clarke and our own mate Dean, to right wingers like Dan Hannan, Norman Tebbit, and the old trout herself.

    The lord only knows who thinks what in the Liberals... maybe, or on the other hand perhaps he doesn't.