I see that Iain Dale is single-handedly attempting to boost Labour party fortunes in Scotland by suggesting that a COnservative-SNP coalition or informal voting pact at Westminster is a distinct possibility after the next election.
With all of the damage the Scottish Labour party has caused itself in recent months, exacerbated by the appointment and continuing reign of woman of the people Wendy “not in the public interest to prosecute” Alexander the last thing the SNP needs is the threat to the Scottish people that a vote for them may help bolster the Conservatives.
So what is Mr Dale’s cunning plan? Has he been aware of the report of the local government committee into the Trump proposed development at Menie – which criticised Salmond, made some spurious comments on the legality of call in (the committee lacks any judicial function as far as I’m aware and is probably unaware of the relevant (ENglish) cases on the topic that are clearly distinguishable), pointed out that the call in decision was made hastily with no legal advice following two 5 minute phone calls, while pointing out that call in takes just as long as an appeal (contrary to the assertions of the Trump team and their expert advisers – although you’d not find any lawyer or planning consultant that would suggest that call in was an expedited process relative to an appeal so which person that the Trump team spoke to gave the Trump team this strange advice?), and noting that precipitate ministerial interference at an early stage may leave any final ministerial decision subject to judicial review or challenge in any appeal (next year or the year after) – or perhaps he is aware of the inquiry into ministerial involvement in a planning decision in Aviemore where a donor to the SNP wrote to various ministers and a flood risk report that should be required by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency suffered the fate of the Calame report (and lets hope the development doesn’t suffer the same fate); or perhaps he is aware that Salmond had his worst first minister’s questions last week failing to answer questions on his national Local Income Tax, following a less than convincing performance by his finance minister on Newsnight Scotland on the topic earlier in the week; or perhaps he is aware that the realisation that freezing local government finance by executive diktat means that local government loses an important source of revenue raising to allow an authority to make funding commitments relevant to the authority’s needs and instead impacts on cuts in expenditure that can be blamed on national government policy and consequently will lead to localised protests when ministers visit? Has Mr Dale looked at the cumulative effect of these stories and decided to assist in putting some pressure on SNP ministers by tying them in with the Conservatives (who flatline in Scotland at a level on a par with the Lib Dems)?
Or is he, as an advocate of English votes for English matters attempting to further SNP support in Scotland and Conservative support in England to provoke a velvet divorce?
Or is it well-intended but cack-handed and the sort of thing that Labouristas will latch on to in order to revive the Tartan Tory tag that worked so effectively in decades past?