Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All that schmoozing with Rupert Murdoch pays off for Alex Salmond

Up until last August, Alex Salmond had met senior figures in Rupert Murdoch's now toxic empire some 25 times. His power schmoozing clearly had an effect.

 In 2007, Ian McWhirter rightly had a right go at the Sun for its Holyrood polling day front page of a noose and the words "Vote SNP today and you put Scotland's head in the noose". A charming bunch, they are, down at Wapping.

In 2011, the delighted chuckles of SNP activists as the Sun endorsed Alex Salmond as first minister (although not independence) could be heard for miles around.

And now Eck seems to have got the full house with the head of the Murdoch empire seemingly endorsing independence.

The Murdoch press endorsing independence would not be insurmountable by any means, especially these days, but it certainly doesn't help those of us who want to see the UK continue, albeit in a different form.

Willie Rennie said that this was the endorsement that any politician dreads, but I can't imagine there will be too many glum faces in the SNP,  High Command or grassroots. In fact, I know there isn't. Social networking sites are full of their glee.

This just highlights the need for those of us who want a future for the UK, in whatever form, to get our acts together on a positive, exciting, enthusiastic and passionate campaign, the better. There's been more signs of cohesive joint working recently, and Willie Rennie the other day offered to share the preliminary thoughts of Ming Campbell's Home Rule Commission with the other parties.

He said:

“As the debate around Scotland’s constitutional future gather’s pace, I believe it is the right time to discuss what further powers Scotland should have whilst at the same time remaining a strong and influential part of the United Kingdom family.
“The Prime Minister and Johann Lamont have signalled that they believe Scotland should have further powers and we need to have a debate about what those extra powers might look like.
“As a Liberal Democrat, I believe in Home Rule for Scotland. That’s why I have set up the Home Rule Commission chaired by Sir Menzies Campbell to debate and discuss what Home Rule would mean for Scotland.
“I want to make sure that our Home Rule proposals include contributions from for many different sections of society. That’s why I am asking the other political parties in Scotland, including members of the SNP opposed to independence, to join us in discussing Scotland’s future.
“In order to make sure we get the best deal for Scotland, we need to look beyond party lines and make a positive case for stronger devolution for Scotland but within a strong United Kingdom.
"I want to see a Parliament that raises what it spends so Scotland can determine our own destiny on the domestic agenda. That would give us more autonomy whilst retaining the benefits of sharing risk and opportunity with the rest of the UK.
“We must not leave Scotland’s future to be dictated by one political party who want us to opt out. I look forward to working with colleagues across the board to get the best deal for Scotland.”

It's typical of the consensual, engaging, constructive manner he's always had in politics and a clear effort to take the lead in setting the scene for a positive pro-union campaign. We can't allow a mega rich tycoon who's presided over questionable practices at his UK tabloids, to make the running.


Indygal said...

Caron I don't know how many SNP members you have on FB and your Twitter but I know I'm one of them so I'm assuming I'm one of the people you are suggesting is "full of glee" at Rupert Murdochs "support" for Independence. You must have missed my tweet and FB post where I suggested that perhaps this was the long awaited campaign for the "no" vote starting. Be interested to know who was gleeful.

redcliffe62 said...

If the LibDems in Scotland do believe in Home Rule then do something about it ASAP before you get wiped out in May.
Federalism, or at least powers on a par with revenue collection in Sweden and Denmark for its own "regions" would be a start.
Not just a pledge but a commitment to work with all, including the SNP. After the education debacle there is no credibility there.
starting from a low base in trust and in seats.
The LibDems are in so far now with Devolution that should they wade no more returning were as tedious as going over, so hurry up and get on with it, with apologies to Willie Shakespeare.
sitting on the fence getting splinters wills ee the LibDems falling below the greens and never recoverig as a force. It is now or never. Come up with a position that offers a viable policy.
Question is, who is Macbeth these days?

RevStu said...

Mm. I think this might be another one of those things where the No camp just assumes independence supporters will react in a certain way without bothering to check whether they actually did or not, hence the absence of examples.

All I've seen are people saying "Yikes, well, we'll be supping from this one with a long spoon but every little helps".

Angus McLellan said...

If Rupert Murdoch's support were to bring the Sun and - perhaps more importantly - the Times along in its wake, I for one would be "gleeful". Probably too much to hope that the WSJ would follow though. It's easy to overstate the influence of the media, but that support wouldn't harm the prospects of a Yes vote one bit.

But then again, I'm not an SNP member ...

cynicalHighlander said...

Competition to the propaganda BBC's constant manipulation of the truth should be welcomed by all who believe in honesty rather than Labour press releases as news.

The No campaign are now going to have to get off their bums and spell out what Scotland gains from a disunited Kingdom rather than the guff we are normally used to.

ear said...

I noticed that that no one has actually questioned the accuracy of those Murdoch's statements.

Alex Salmond, as he says, is indeed the most popular and most talented political leader in the UK who has got the better of his rivals. And, Scottish independence would be win win for everyone.


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