Monday, December 12, 2011

Alex Salmond complains bitterly to Cameron over EU veto - but fails to say what he would have done

So, Alex Salmond has written  a snippy letter of complaint to Prime Minister David Cameron over his use of the veto which left the UK in a minority of one.

It took him 3 days to work out how to play this which is highly unusual for him.  I was only saying to my dad yesterday that I was surprised that we hadn't had the SNP jumping up and down about this. It's clearly taken them a while to work out the best line for them. As usual, they've criticised the UK Government, but have given their customary lack of detail as to what Salmond would have done as leader of an independent Scotland.

He's clearly hedging his bets. He doesn't want to admit that he'd have gone off with the 26, because that might not play well with people, so he's just doing his usual opportunistic thing. It would be a lot more helpful if he would outline how he, as leader of an independent Scotland (not that that's a foregone conclusion by any manner of means), would have conducted relations with Europe in a different way. To be honest, I reckon if Cameron had struck a deal with the other countries, he'd have had a similarly irritable letter from Salmond to deal with today. Just cos that's what Salmond does - huff and puff about everything that he thinks can advance his independence agenda.

Scottish Liberal Democrat president Malcolm Bruce had Salmond bang to rights, saying that the SNP couldn't even tell us what currency an independent Scotland would have. I just can't help feeling that if they had the details, they would share them with us. They know they can't offer any guarantees, so they just paint this picture about how idyllic life would be in an independent Scotland without any substance to back  it up. Truth is, life is pretty darned hard for the global economy at the moment. The outlook is bleak and so the international community needs to work together as much as possible to try to resolve things.

Malcolm was really good on Good Morning Scotland this morning talking about the issues around the EU summit. He is a robust performer on the media and he wasn't letting Gary Robertson away with anything. You can hear the whole interview here from around 1:09. He very clearly set out the party's position that we want to have good relations with Europe, we'll seek to deliver that in Government and that the Coalition was not in danger. He pointed out that the EU was not perfect, something recognised by the most passionate supporters of the EU within the party.

Nick Clegg didn't attack David Cameron for what happened in Brussels, contrary to what most of the papers are saying. He said he thought the outcome of the summit was bad for Britain. I'm quite happy to complain about Cameron, though. Our PM does not perform well putting his case in these sorts of conditions as we saw during the leaders' debates in 2010. He went in with a poorly framed plan with no back up position. I would have much preferred Nick Clegg, who has solid international negotiating experience behind him, in there, but that wasn't going to happen. The French and Germans were too caught up in the still unresolved eurozone crisis to be bothered accommodating him. There were faults on both sides, for sure, but the outcome is not good for us as a country and we need to sort it.

I was thoroughly amused to see the Daily Fail this morning accuse Nick of talking the country down. A bit rich coming from a paper who's continually writing about what a bunch of drug addled, violent, benefit scrounging, feral savages we all are.

Most of the mainstream media, from the Daily Mail to the BBC, is not being entirely accurate about the Lib Dems' position - which makes it important for us to make sure that our members and campaign teams on the ground are properly informed in plain and simple terms.


Braveheart said...

"Most of the mainstream media, from the Daily Mail to the BBC, is not being entirely accurate about the Lib Dems' position "

Which is....?

Caron said...

Braveheart, it's quite simple. My post yesterday outlines Nick's comments on Marr yesterday:

His position is that he thinks that the outcome of the summit is bad for Britain and that we will lose influence internationally if we're not leading the discussions as a key player in Europe.

He believes that our growth and jobs prospects for the future could be damaged by what happens and Lib Dems in the Government will be pushing for a constructive engagement with our EU partners.

Lupus Incomitatus said...


When did the FS come back from China?

Have you ever travelled over multiple time zones?

I think his timing on his 6 questions was dictated by that rather than having to work it out on a bit of paper with a pencil. We leave that for Clegg do do, with an appropriate rubber in the other hand to make changes, after some wiser counsel has been loaded in the cloth ear.

Braveheart said...

"...pushing for constructive engagement..."

That'll do it.

No need to resign then, or do anything rash, such as sticking with your principles.....

Just as well Nick, Vince and the rest stuck to their guns over student loans.....


Caron, I used to always wonder what the Lib Dems were for.... gets even less clear the longer they are in "power".

Can you enlighten me...????

cynicalHighlander said...

They seek him here, they seek him there
Those members seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Liberel
He meddles with the members Revolution
Popping in and out each week
Spoiling every lovely execution
La, what cheek!
They seek him here, they seek him there
Those members seek him everywhere
If you should see him, please do give a yell!
That demned elusive Liberel
They seek him here, they seek him there
Those members seek him everywhere
Oh, Pimpy, how the members do implore you
Simply to stay home in bed
With all your interference
It's a chore to chop a head!
They seek him here, they seek him there
The ladies seek him everywhere!
He give the members nothing but frustration
Sink me! He's a spoilsport
Each and every demned decapitation
He cuts short
They seek him here, they seek him there
Those members seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Liberel

I believe there is a world wide search on for the deputy PM as he was conspicuous by his absence in the house this afternoon.

George W. Potter said...

Ah, cybernats again. Love 'em or hate 'em, you're still not allowed to hit them with a shovel :(

Caron said...

As you know, George, this is a lovely, fluffy place. We don't do hitting anyone with shovels.

What you do on your own blog, is, of course, entirely up to you:-)

Caron said...

Lupus, really, this is the 21st century.

I remember going to New York pre internet days and it was like going to another planet. I only managed to phone home once in 5 days. Now, you can practically skype from the plane, or at least from anywhere on the ground. The very idea that Alex Salmond couldn't work out what he thought for 3 days is ridiculous.

Lupus Incomitatus said...

You mean the same time that took for Nic to get his definitive position set out?

Lupus Incomitatus said...

Where's Clegg?

tris said...

Unfair Caron.

I though Mr Clegg agreed with him on Friday, was lukewarm on Saturday, got stuck in about him on Sunday and wouldn't even sit in the same room as him on Monday.

George: I'm a cyber Nat as you're a cyber Lib. We are both supporters of our party in real life too.

I've been very supportive of your blog and the decent policies you stand for. We agree on a lot.

I just want Scotland to get an R... 'country' instead of 'county' because I think we are much more likely to get decent policies if we can have them decided by Scots in Edinburgh. It's quite enough for me to have cross border policies decided in Brussels. london is the unnecessary element of the equation.

Additionally it would be good not to have to put up with Eton toffs running the country for the benefit of the fraudsters in the City.

If what you want to do is hit me on the head with a shovel, when I comment, I'll stay away from you in future.

George W. Potter said...


That was a tongue-in-cheek comment - I don't really want to hit anyone with a shovel. And if I did, you wouldn't be one of the ones I wanted to hit. I read your blog on a regular basis and I appreciate the interest you've shown in mine. As we would say in the Home Counties, you seem like a decent sort of chap.

The kind of people who irritate me are the ones who can't see anything even slightly less than full-throated support for Scottish independence without vomiting off-topic arguments onto the internet. You most definitely aren't one of them :)

Incidentally, if you think Scotland is anything like a county in the amount of control it has over its own affairs then I suggest you visit England. We'd be lucky to get the amount of self-determination Scotland has as a country ourselves - let alone as individual counties!

tris said...

Yes George... I did know it was tongue in cheek. I didn't get my hard hat out! (Equally my threat to stay away from your blog was not serious.)

I accept, too, we have a lot more power than a county, but when it comes to UK wide, reserved matters we are given very little consideration. Cameron's respect agenda was, like most of what he says, PR spin. His words are as shiny as his face, but behind them there is as little as there is in his vacuous head.

Oh well, you've probably heard all my arguments over and I won't waste Caron's space by rehearsing them.

I'm glad you read MR... and I continue to enjoy the decent Liberal standards that you portray on your blog. I wish there were more in the government with your principles.


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