Thursday, July 03, 2008
Holyrood was left stunned last night when it emerged that Nicol Stephen, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and a former Deputy First Minister, has decided to stand down for family reasons.Well Maybe but I put this on Iain Dale's Diary
When he took over the party had placed 2nd at the Westminster elections, their polls had been going up & they were generally considered the only party destined to be in any possible Scottish government.
Since then (& since they expelled me for traditional liberalism) they have become 4th party in Holyrood, are out of government & polls in free fall.
Nicol was chosen for being photogenic not for brains. Thus he was able to say on TV that "nuclear is the easy answer" before going on to explain that it must thus be strangled because if it wasn't the proles (OK he didn't use the word) would never be willing to subsidise windmills. On Question Time he accused the Jews of a war crime, by destroying an electricity substation in Gaza, clearly being unaware that NATO had destroyed many power generators in Yugoslavia in the LibDim supported campaign to help the Nazi inspired KLA in their campaign of genocide. I may be biased - he pushed the £270 million Glasgow airport rail link without even being willing to look at the option of a £20 million monorail link I brought to his attention.
Tavish is pretty much his ugly sister.
Ross Finnie has a good record of taking tough economic decisions & is 1 of only 2 politicians I am aware of who said in advance that the Thatcher government's policy of shadowing the EMU was unsustainable (the other being Thatcher). He did say anybody doubting we are currently experiencing catastrophic warming was "from Mars" but a little idiocy can be forgiven.
Mike Rumbles talks well of supporting freedom (though he didn't seem so supportive when the smoking ban was being introduced) & has somewhat hedged his position on the party's anti-nuclear lunacy.
On Radio Scotland today Rumbles did indeed say that he would be in favour of less big statism & of freedom generally. He also said he would like to see decisions made more broadly by the membership through Conference (which legally is how it is done but not in practice) & have "more interesting Conference motions" (which would not be difficult).
We will see if he really is going to call for a repeal of the smoking ban, which cause ructions among the politically correct but I am sure would be popular with up to 87% of voters . If not the "in favour of freedom" stuff is just flannel. We shall see over the next few weeks.