Wednesday, 19 November 2014

He’s No’ Awa’ Tae Bide Awa'

Nicola Sturgeon is now leader of the SNP. I’ve read in the media that she is more popular, within SNP circles, than Alex Salmond and this bodes well for the future. My MSP, John Swinney, is now Deputy First Minister.

It will come as no surprise to many of you that I like Alex Salmond and have great respect for the man, although I dislike some of the policies he has introduced during the SNP’s time in government.  He’s an astute politician, a superb orator as well as being a clever and intelligent person.  Not many politicians today carry all these attributes.

When he announced he was standing down as First Minister and leader of the SNP in September, my first thought was he must be retiring from the political scene.  Silly of me I know, but where would he go?  Then he gave the answer on Question Time; or rather gave the Dimbleby the hint.

There is a rumour floating round Scotland that he is considering standing in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey for next May’s Westminster elections. Currently this seat is held by LibDem Danny Alexander who will be defending a large majority of 8,765.

An early rumour suggested he intended to stand in Gordon, where the LibDem Malcolm Bruce, who had a majority of 6,748 at the last general election, is standing down and Gordon covers the Aberdeenshire East constituency represented by him at Holyrood. However, the LibDem candidate for Gordon is a former journalist, Christine Jardine, who has no public profile and senior SNP members are rumoured to have stated ‘Alex wants a scalp. He won’t get that in Gordon and he has a pick of any seat’.

The SNP has not yet chosen its candidates for next May’s election.  Alex Salmond will, almost certainly, not contest his old Banff and Buchan seat as it’s already represented by the party’s Elidh Whiteford.

In Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Danny Alexander’s main challenge came from Labour in the 2010 general election.  But the Holyrood seat of Inverness and Nairn is represented by the SNP’s Fergus Ewing, who won in 2011 with a massive majority of nearly 10,000 and SNP strategists believe they can therefore challenge Danny Alexander next May.

The LibDems are relying upon the result of the Independence Referendum, when around 60% of voters voted No, to keep Alex Salmond from gaining a seat from them. Some of the quotes around: ‘He’s something of a spent force’. ‘People used to see him as invincible but that’s not the case now’.

So now we’re entering the general election campaign. David Cameron insists the austerity measures must continue. Not good news for the less financially secure in our society.  We can but hope that the weather continues to be mild and thus heating bills are kept low enough to avoid many falling into debt.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Lest We Forget

Scottish Labour Leadership Poll - update

The Scottish Branch of the Labour party leadership contenders has changed since the above poll.  43% of you thought A N Other would be the next leader with Mr Murphy following closely behind.

I’ve placed a new poll over there >> with the confirmed candidates.  There appears to be an tinge of arrogance in Murphy’s television interviews this week.

Will he be good or bad for Scotland?

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Christmas Television Adverts - John Lewis

The commercial Christmas is upon us. Shops crammed with Christmas non-perishables, although I did see Christmas puddings yesterday.  They can last for a year if unopened I’m reliably told, but my informant prefers to wait until after Christmas and stock up at bargain prices.

According to Adweek the above video, ‘Monty the Penguin’, cost £1m to make and is part of the company’s overall £7m investment in the Christmas campaign.

Does it encourage you to buy at John Lewis?

These days there are always some geeks waiting in the background to capitalise on videos, but Redshirt Films are very smart and professional geeks.  They’ve made a parody of John Lewis’s Christmas Advert.  

Hope you enjoy. I did.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Scottish Labour Leadership - The Candidates So Far

It appears most of the contenders I listed for the leadership of the Scottish branch of the Labour Party have decided not to touch the poisoned chalice.  However a couple of ‘brave’ souls have stepped out of the melee and announced their candidacy.

The first is Neil Findlay.  When I heard the name I thought “Who?”  Of course google, being a best friend, came to the rescue with an image of the said Neil Finday. I didn’t recognise him but it’s stated he is the current health spokesman in the Scottish Parliament.

Next to express their desire for promotion was Sarah Boyack. I did recognise her - she’s been around quite some time but has been more or less silent since she left the first Labour coalition cabinet.

The past few days the media has been buzzing with the news that ‘the big gun’ Jim Murphy has put forward his candidacy. Fear and scorn are a few of the emotions drifting around social networks.  Andrew has a legal slant on Mr Murphy’s expectations.  Whilst reading the comments I happened across this link.  Tommy Ball is a member of the SSP but he’s done his homework and his assessment of Mr Murphy won’t be pleasant breakfast reading for the Eastwood MP.

However, a week is a long time in politics.  Next week is sure to bring more interesting facts and opinions from and of the candidates.  I was tempted to say “I cannae wait,” but that would be a downright lie.  I can wait.  It’s somewhat satisfying to watch the slow destruction of Scottish Labour.  I doubt if any will be honourable enough to fall on their swords gracefully though.

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