Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Lib Dems Cheated?

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Given Nicol Stephen's astonishingly snide attacks on Alex Salmond (when he has patently done nothing wrong), here comes an SNP blogger to throw some mud back...

Not at all.

I am in fact referring to the coverage about the election of the UK Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg today. The media reporting of this so far has been very subdued in tone. Rather than a big 'unveiling of the new leader' style reports, it has been more ' oh yeah, and the Lib Dems elected the latest of a long line in leaders today, and he only won by the skin of his teeth...' They just can't catch a break. :o)

But then, there isn't really a lot of interest in the Lib Dems beyond the political anoraks, and even then the Lib Dems are only of interest to many because of how they will position themselves relative to the other parties.

And this is what I find so depressing about Nicol Stephen at the moment. While he was a Minister in the previous Lib-Lab Executive he was notoriously 'lazy' (in the words of civil servants in his department), and he lacked any zeal for his job. Now, he seems to have sprung to life in his quest to smear Alex Salmond and the SNP. I think this is quite telling about his character. He is clearly more motivated by a desire to damage a political foe than he is about governing Scotland well.

I just can't get over how spiteful he is allowing himself to appear, and I'm afraid that his conduct will only lower the opinion that people have of politics and politicians even further. As I have said before, the worst thing about Labour's donor woes for me was the damage it may do to politics in this country. Labour's donor problems are a legitimate issue of concern, and have to be publicly addressed. But it is wholly irresponsible to stoke up controversy over an issue like the Trump project purely for political point scoring, and perceived party advantage. I cannot understand why people think there has been any wrong doing on the part of Alex Salmond or the Scottish Government, other than because people like Nicol Stephen have been slinging mud.

N.B. I do hope I managed to make my point there without throwing any 'mud' at Nicol Stephen. The 'lazy' comment sails a bit close to the wind, but that is opinion rather than an accusation, so I hope that doesn't count...

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