Friday, 21 April 2006

Me Think They Dost Protest Too Much

OK on first look today's Northern Scot makes bad reading for Liberal Democrats within a week of the Moray by election. But on close inspection one comment from their Leader
article gives a very subtle clue to where the paper's sensibilities lie.

The phrase in question is:

Full-time party officials from the south have been mobilised to conduct the sort of campaign Moray has never seen in the past

The give away clue is the complaint about people coming up from the south. To be fair to Moray there isn't a lot further North than it. In fact only 5 Westminster constituencies can claim to have any point further north than the most northerly point of Moray. In fact the only party who could bring full-paid party workers South to Moray in numbers might be the Liberal Democrats who represent all mainland points to the North plus Orkney and Shetland.

However, readers of Scottish politics recognise this phrase as a pre-emptive excuse used by Scottish Nationalist sympathisers for failure. The argument the Nats put out is that the other three parties, or most regularly the one that is really challenging them, have being importing activists from all over the UK so it is no wonder they have lost, or about to lose, the by-election. By elections are the time that the Nationalists are at a disadvantage as they are simply a regional not a national party.

The fact that the Northern Scot is using this phrase in a article in which they are trying to proport impartiality shows their true colours. The people of Moray must particularly have already spoken in a number of blogs and media that they are shocked that the Northern Scot is now claiming not to be a voicebox for the SNP and indeed that they are attempting to claim the high moral ground.

This whole scenario reminds me of the quote by Eric Morecombe about playing all the right notes just not necessarily in the right order.


  1. Many of us were proud to come up to help Willie win in Dunfermline.

    But even the Nats must realise that those of us who work for the party in 'southern Britain' have certain other pulls on our time just now ;-)

  2. Quite right Neil. Indeed some of us in southern Scotland have yet to make the trip up to Elgin. I only make my debut tomorrow and practically spent every spare minute in Dunfermline for that campaign.

    All the best for your council campaign.