Friday, 24 December 2010

FMQs 23 December 2010

My apologies for the delay in posting this but there were difficulties with the video.

Not a scrap of tinsel or even a shiny bauble was visible in the chamber yesterday during FMQs.  In fact the half hour session was cheerless and dispiriting although, given that two opposition leaders' questions involved the present weather, the atmosphere was perhaps understandable.

The last FMQs of 2010 finished with a whimper and I suspect many unheard sighs of relief.


DougtheDug said...

There was an interesting exchange between Iain Grey and Alex Salmond.

From the Parliamentary report it says:

Iain Gray: I thought that Norway would come up. After all, the arc of prosperity stretches all the way from Trondheim to Oslo these days—except on the SNP website, where it still includes Montenegro. The website states: "Montenegro shows us just how easy it can be to become an independent country. 40 days is all it took for Montenegro to regain her freedom. It could be Scotland next."
Yes—40 days, two world wars, the Balkan conflict, ethnic cleansing, a war crimes tribunal and a United Nations peace-keeping mission.

Montenegro could not escape the Balkan conflict as a constituent part of Serbia and Montenegro and was a participant in the siege of the Croatian city of Dubrovnik and there were reports of the Yugoslav army attacking villages in Montenegro on the Kosovan border but there was no ethnic cleansing within Montenegro itself. The war crimes tribunal in the Hague did indict several Montenegrans for their part in the siege of Dubrovnik but there was no United Nations peace keeping mission in Montenegro.

As far as I can see Iain Grey's knowledge of the Balkans is so limited that he can't differentiate Montenegro from Bosnia and Kosovo where there were many more war crimes and ethnic cleansing and where there were and still are UN and NATO missions. It is the classic scaremongering tactic of those who have lost the argument to liken the drive for Scottish independence as a precursor to a rerun of the Balkan conflict in the UK.

Even with his scaremongering Iain Grey should be careful with his analogies. The main driver of the Balkan conflict was not any territorial ambitions by the smaller constituent nations of the Yugoslav Republic but was the Serbian desire to hold onto Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia as part of a united Yugoslavia and when that failed to create a Greater Serbia from territory carved out of Croatia and Bosnia and to hold onto the mainly Albanian province of Kosovo.

As an aside it took two world wars, ethnic cleansing by mass deportations and the collapse of the Soviet empire before Estonia became independent so maybe Iain should use Estonia as an example in his warnings about the dangers of nationalism as it seems to fit his list better than his misunderstanding of Montenegro.

subrosa said...

Thank you Doug for highlighting that. I actually thought the Montenegro comparison was so ludicrous it didn't value a mention.

But, because I was so late posting the video, I didn't attempt narrative. The video is posted because overseas readers can't access it on the BBC.

Related Posts with Thumbnails