20 September 2009

Tavish Scott's 'Call It Off' Moment

Following on from my earlier post regarding calls at the LibDem Conference to support the 2010 Referendum, Tavish Scott has entered the debate, and opted to play the man and not the ball:

"I remember what it's like to be a young, thrusting, energetic parliamentary candidate and you were desperate to get your face on the television.

"I can well understand the need to say something which commentators and television reporters are very, very, keen to talk about, but I don't really think the people are."

Well, pity poor Kevin Lang, slapped down in such a patronising fashion by Tavish Scott.

Except... George Lyon made the same call.

That's George Lyon, former Holyrood Junior Minister and Party Whip, MSP for Argyll & Bute for eight years and recently elected Member of the European Parliament. He won't be quite so easy to brush off.

So you have PPCs, the MEP and a large percentage of LibDem supporters backing a referendum. Tavish Scott won't budge.

You have LibDem supporters backing the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Tavish Scott wanted him to rot in prison.

Two big issues of this political year, and Tavish Scott is on the other side of the argument to his own party.

Perhaps his title ought to be "Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament"?


Jeff said...

haha, nice punchline at the end.

I've written a very similar post just now actually. I do wonder if Kevin is feeling the heat from the SNP in Edinburgh North & Leith and he's trying to nick a few Nationalist votes with this.

Maybe it was even sanctioned by Tavish and the 'slapping down' has been factored in by Lang.

Who knows, maybe not, it does (as you say) highlight just how often Tavish seems to be on the wrong side of his party's arguments.

Bizarre stuff but Good on Kevin though if it was all as it seems. Sticking one's head above the party parapet is never an easy thing to do, regardless of the party.

Will said...

Jeff, if I were churlish I'd have said that he spends enough time aping Labour for this to be the next logical step... :)

You may well be right about Kevin, trying to secure himself against an SNP advance eating into his prospects but even so, this would still highlight that Scott appears to be out of touch with the rest of the party. If more and more LibDems are actually considering the idea, and he's just sticking his fingers in his ears and announcing that he's not listening, that's a very bad sign, particularly with such a big hitter as George Lyon taking the pro-referendum stance.

In any case, Kevin Lang may well mean it. After all, the LibDems are by no means unanimous on the constitution, with views ranging from Scott's outright hostility to a referendum and the SNP, to the independence-supporting Earl of Mar and Kellie. Lang's position would represent that wonderful LibDem ideal of 'equidistance' between the two extremes...