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.