Monday 18 February 2008

What a tangled web we weave...

Matthew Marr, one-time Labour spinner extraordinaire, went down in a tired and emotional state, flinging a very bad epithet at the First Minister of Scotland (His Eckness).
Since then, Wendy Alexander (leader of the opposition in Parliament - in terms of number of MSPs in her party, anyway) has been searching for a replacement. Two of the requirements in the person specification for the job have made it a struggle finding someone - "must be quotable without asterisks" and "must be capable of acting with decency towards politicians in other parties".
How has Wendy made sure that her new spinner will not be nasty to politicians in other parties? Simple - she's appointed someone who doesn't think much of her - Simon Pia.

From his Scotsman diary:
September 1, 2004, - Wendy Alexander's entry on the Parliament's website but found there was not a mention of her ministerial career. Stalinism is alive and well
April 3, 2001, - ONE of the great political issues of our age, ie the last 15 minutes, is this: has Wendy Alexander spun out of control and can she be reined in again?
May 18, 2000, - Gruppenfuhrer Wendy Alexander wants to know every last detail of the make-up of management committees like the local mother and toddler groups
May 16, 2000, - SPOTTED in the executive lounge at Heathrow waiting for the shuttle were a senior Labour MP and his researcher. Huddled over their papers they were attracting attention with the odd guffaw. Could it have been another one of Wendy Alexander's policy papers they were reading?
November 15, 2001, - Far be it for us to suggest anyone is two sandwiches
short of a picnic, but Wendy Alexander has a thing about biscuits.
November 15, 2001, - We could have had a "fruitcake" running a nanny
January 25, 2001, - One reveller recalls: "I'll never forget looking out the window and the sight of Wendy trying to climb over the back wall with a carry-out so that she could sneak in."
May 26, 2000, - THE prying eyes of Wendy Alexander have been shut by the Diary, which last week exposed Big Sister's nebbing into the sexuality of the guid folk of Craigmillar.
January 23, 2002, - it was our man on the spot at Radio Clyde who caught Wendy sighing into the microphone that she was the minister for so much that "I cannot remember my own title".
Hungry Caterpillar anyone? Mind you, given that Wendy employed Gavin Yates after he said things like this:
Wendy Alexander, a former Minister who fell from favour with the so-called Labour ‘West-Coast Mafia’ is in pole position but her abrasive style might not prove popular with everyone. Also, she is seen very much as a Brown acolyte and that won’t go down well with MSPs that want a separate Scottish Labour identity from Westminster.
Meanwhile, Labour find themselves still stuck in a post -electoral malaise with a lame-duck leader.
The former Labour MSP and Health Minister, Susan Deacon, told the Herald that Labour had failed to develop any platform and said: “Labour has to develop a more positive narrative that defines it as a party and Scotland in a UK context. I fail to understand why it was thought an effective strategy during the election to take such a negative stance and scaremonger about what would happen if the SNP were
There is no chance of Labour carrying out her advice soon.
It might just be that Wendy is a masochist when it comes to employing staff. Or perhaps Simon Pia was recommended to her for his musings on her colleagues - George Foulkes as a has-been perhaps:
August 15, 2005, - Indeed, it seems the Scottish Premier League, as much as the Lords, is the elephants' graveyard for once promising politicos of Cook's generation, with sinecures in the boardroom for George Foulkes ...
Or perhaps his own sycophancy towards her and her younger sibling:
August 15, 2005, - Where, then, are the young Turks to take up the mantle of Cook's generation: step forward the Alexander brother and sister, Douglas and Wendy. However, there are few others of note and, believe it or not, we have heard murmurings of a Tory revival in the Scottish universities.
Maybe it's his excellent judgement of political ability:
April 18, 2005, - we reckon voters are fed up with cheesy charisma and we prefer the soubriquet "sober" for the likes of Brown and Darling. While the term "Edinburgh lawyer" does not necessarily conjure up a pretty picture, Darling possesses the best of the beast's traits: very able and a safe a pair hands
Or his candour:
September 16, 2004, - A Scotch whisky official confided: "We had Alistair Darling at a reception and he couldn't understand why whisky costs twice as much in Scotland as it does in Spain. We tactfully suggested he ask the Chancellor."
It must be his unerring support for her policies:
October 22, 2003, - A POSSE of Edinburgh councillors - Trevor Davies, Lawrence Marshall, Tom Ponton, David Guest and city development head honcho Andrew Holmes - put on their anoraks yesterday morning for a bit of "tram-spotting" in Strasbourg, Lyon and Montpellier as part of their "looney tunes" plan to bring back the trams.
Another stunning appointment by Wendy Alexander - perfect judgement.
I've lost the email that this cartoon was sent in - can I just say thanks again.


Mark McDonald said...

Mr Pia is always astute in his observations, witness:

29 April 2003

The talk of the town

IT WASN’T just Celtic who did us proud in Europe, we discovered, last Thursday evening.

An honoured guest of Aberdeen University Debater at its devolution bunfight, we learned that the Aberdeen team had just reached the quarter-finals of the European Debating Championships in Croatia.

Andrew Learmonth and Charles Ogilvie did admit Celtic may have gone one better, but their dynamic duo, Mark McDonald and Nerissa Drennan, were up against a stiffer field of 100 teams from Yugoslavia, Israel, France, Germany and Holland as well as all over Britain.

Needless to say, the students made light work of the Diary and assorted politicos, including Richard Lochhead and David Davison, who must have the snazziest campaign car of any MSP.

[/trumpet blowing]

Anonymous said...

Generation i - tales for an accelerated future