The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Getting nowhere fast

Posted on September 01, 2012 by

One ought to have some sympathy for Michael Moore. Secretary Of State for Scotland is such a pointless job the Liberal Democrats stood for election in 2010 on a policy of abolishing it altogether, but now one of their own has found himself in the not-very-hot seat the pledge appears to have gone the way of all Lib Dem election pledges.

With much of the business of running Scotland (education, health, policing) devolved to the Scottish Government in Edinburgh, and the rest of it (taxation, welfare, defence) controlled far above his head in Westminster, the unfortunate Mr Moore must therefore cast around hopefully for something with which to fill the long working day.

Latterly, he’s chosen to occupy himself by making assertions to anyone who’ll listen that the wrangling between Holyrood and London over the independence referendum must be concluded by next month. There appears to be no particular reason for this arbitrary deadline, and Mr Moore has made no explicit threat of consequences should it be breached, presumably because they would carry absolutely no credibility.

(The notion of Alex Salmond standing up in the Scottish Parliament in, say, early December and accepting a single-question referendum in return for a Section 30 order, only to be rebuffed by the Prime Minister on the grounds that he’d missed his chance, is so farcical we’re not even going to dignify it with any further analysis.)

Indeed, so hollow is the position of Scottish Secretary that the First Minister hasn’t even bothered to meet with Mr Moore to discuss the issue in recent months, quite reasonably indicating that he’d rather speak to the organ-grinder than the monkey. Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph, perhaps aware that he’s currently trailing badly in this blog’s “Madman Of The Year” poll, today suggests that the organ-grinder in question may yet impose a Westminster-run referendum on the Scots, even in the same breath as acknowledging that such a move would be suicidally stupid and tear the Unionist alliance catastrophically asunder.

There are over two years until the SNP’s proposed date for the referendum, and therefore at least a year until its details absolutely must be finalised. That’s not our opinion, nor even that of the nationalists – it’s the view of the No camp, who’ve been insisting since the 2011 election that the referendum could be held in 2013 (or even sooner). If Mr Moore believed in February of this year that a referendum could be put together from scratch in 19 months, what’s his sudden rush now? Clearly, by his own reckoning, we’ve got until at least March to get the process going in earnest.

If Alex Salmond’s plan is to sit back, innocently whistling, and wait for his opponents to defeat themselves in a flailing rage that he won’t do what they tell him, Mr Moore and Mr Cochrane’s steadily-increasing panic suggests that it’s working. We suspect he’ll keep his powder dry a while yet.

Print Friendly

    18 to “Getting nowhere fast”

    1. Vincent McDee says:

      So is a person! And a liberal democrat too!

      I apologize for the error. For ages I’ve been thinking  “moore” was just some arcane way for “moron”.

      I stand corrected. Thank you kindly Rev.  

    2. Juteman says:

      It’s good to see him pictured using transport suitable to his position, and it will come in handy for delivering pizzas in a couple of years. 

    3. Bill Fraser says:

      It should be noted that the organ grinder in question ( and his patners in crime) have unenviable record of monumentaly stupid actions and that therefore has the propensity to maintain that state of affairs.

    4. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Secretary of State for Scotland?
      Surely that can’t be right Rev? I’m sure his correct title is Secretary of State for WESTMINSTER! 😀
      ” the unfortunate Mr Moore must therefore cast around for something with which to fill the long working day.”
      Moore WORKS! WHERE? I thought he was Westminster’s attempt at trying to cheer us Scots up during the “we’re all in it together time.”
      Is that the BEST they could do for him in terms of “official” vehicle then?
      I take there’s no chauffeur that comes with this amazing governmental department supplied vehicle.

    5. balgayboy says:

      Surely even he must know he is peeing against the wind with this B.S. Such a shame to see a man degrade himself for a politic that he must knows within himself is futile and he himself will be burnt and looked upon by the people of Scotland as  another anti- Independent Scotland person in the end game. Life is tough when your out in the cold and I hope he recognises this.

    6. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I very much doubt that he will balgaboy. He is a Lib/Dem who, like the rest of the Lib/Dems, has sold his soul to the devil. This became apparently obvious when, immediately after joining the Tories in coalition, they amazingly dropped their calls for the Scottish Office to be closed.

      Now in my view any one who calls for a position to be closed and then takes up that very same position is not worth squidly squat! He is in a totally untenable position, as are the Lib/Dems generally. How on earth do they expect ANYONE to take them seriously at the next general election. They, by dropping their “causes” for governmental cars, have turned themselves into the biggest bunch of power hungry knaves ever.

      I don’t think I’ve seen ANY group of politicians drop so may policies like hot potatoes as this crowd. For what? Just to get their grubby little paws on the keys of government.

    7. James McLaren says:

      Having worked all my life in the alcohol industry I became aware that Michael Moore seemed to be of the Charles Kennedy wing of his party.
      Idle hands and all that.

    8. James McLaren says:

      @Arbroath 1320
      They, by dropping their “causes” for governmental cars, have turned themselves into the biggest bunch of power hungry knaves ever.
      It all started with wee Jim Wallace, that Star in the Unionist Legal Firmament. Look where it got him.
      I wonder post independence if political honours given to people by an extinct administration can be declared honorary, just like the “knighthoods” given to Alan Greenspan and Colyn Powell etc?

    9. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Good point James.
      I always think that anyone with an “honorary” Knighthood can and should be called Mr/Mrs or whatever. After all the knighthood will only be relevant in England where the honour was made, won’t it?
      As far as that dumpling Wallace is concerned I wonder if he’s aware of this site on Facebook.

      After all was he not the one in a recent T.V. interview failing to answer a simple question about whether or not, following a YES vote in Scotland, Orkney would choose to remain with BANKRUPT rUK?

    10. scottish_skier says:

      Mr Moore will have been offered a safe seat at the next GE for his services, or maybe a nice civil service role. The Tories/Nick will never actually give him it though. He’s probably worked that out already but keeps trying to ignore it in the hope it will all be ok.

      I can’t work out whether the Libs are power hungry or totally naive. Both probably. Moore more naive, clegg more power hungry.

      ‘Sucked in and spat out’ as Mr Salmond put it so succinctly.

    11. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Oh dear the little didumsies at Westminster are feeling guilty about the Empire!
      No sign of them feeling guilty about their treatment of Scotland then!
      No surprise there then!

    12. Silverytay says:

      I am sorry ! That picture makes me think that mickey moore fancies himself as the dark lord ready to mount his trusted bike and travel around the country putting all the dreaded cybernats to the sword for the sake of the empire .
      God forbid that he ever has a damascus conversion and joins the rebellion as I think he is doing a fantastic job for us where he is . 

    13. Bill Pickford says:

      While acknowledging that Mickey Moore isn’t the sharpest tack in the box, he certainly isn’t the dullest.
      Read the latest article on LabourShame for true fuckwittery – it’s written by some clown called Ian Smart and never has a man been so grievously misnamed.

    14. James McLaren says:

      Is Michael Moore possibly related to Sammy Moore, the great Ulster Road motorcylist from Newtownard?
      Seriously, does anyone know?

    15. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Sorry I’m O/T here Rev, but I found this over on scottishindependence2014 site. It is O/T but it also O/T. You’ll see what I mean when you read it. 😆
      I was just wondering if this was a case of the delusionally delusioned being delusioned  by the delusionally insane delusioned? 😀

    16. Silverytay says:

      Meanwhile over in the daily record mickey moore is at it again .
      The government will not fight A.S over a 2nd question as someone will do it for them .
      I wonder who or what group the unionists have primed to take our referendum into the courts.
      Mickey moore and Co could stop all this uncertainty tomorrow if they wanted to by issuing us the section 30 and explaining to us what the flavour of jam will be .
      The unionists can not come up with a positive case for the union so they are left with the same old lies and false promises .
      As the old saying goes ! once bitten twice shy .
      We will not be fooled again . 

    17. Galen10 says:


      It also seems to me that the SG must surely have taken its own legal advice about potential legal challenges? Given the Axa 2010 ruling, and the Lord Cooper 1953 statements, how likely are the courts to overturn the results of a referendum held by the SG? What court would the case be brought it…? Presumably it would have to be in the Scottish courts?

      If the SG announces that it would prefer to have an S30 mandate to put the matter beyond doubt, but will only accept it without ANY Westminster preconditions, then proceeds to hold the referendum without such an order being given since the terms were unacceptable to the SG, surely that would be hard for any Unionist spoiler to challenge given the logic of the 1953 and 2010 decisions? 

      As many people have already argued, devo-max/midi/FFA etc. are not within the gift of the SG, since whatever flavour of jam tomorrow the dependency parties come up with need to be steered through Westminster and approved by it, and would inevitably lead in any case to the break up of the 1707 settlement and its replacement with some “new” arrangement, including one has to assume a “rumpUK” or English parliament (not sure how they will handle our Welsh and NI friends!).

      That to me is why the “option” of a second question is a non-starter, but Big Eck and the SG are right to use the possibility of such an option being included as a stick to beat the Unionists with. They are so hopelessly divided that they know they can never marshal the intellectual or political coherence to fettle such an option. Even if they could come up with an agreed option, it would be so woolly and lacking in content that it would simply show how hollow the “jam tomorrow” promises are.

      The Unionists cannot say when more devolution would be delivered, they can’t say what it will involve, and they can’t say how they will deliver it, or what impact it will have on the existing constitutional arrangements. This is also why their constant demands that the SG and/or the SNP provide chapter and verse about the minutiae of any post-independence settlement don’t ring true. What is sauce for the goose after all…..; there is a lot more chance of a future SG coming up with a coherent plan post a “YES” vote in 2014, and actually bringing it to fruition, than there ever is of the Unionist establishment delivering on their “jam tomorrow” fantasy.

    18. I am enjoying a lot of the Westminster bluster and story telling,(I don’t get out much) but I have in the back of my mind that there are some real dirty tricks to come,and the stupidity of Westminster to keep trying to divide,or rather keeping us divided ,as a nation,I would not be surprised if they tried for another Northern Ireland scenario.They are dangerous because of the contempt they hold us in,and some are already afraid,but I have this faith in Alex Salmond that he will deliver them to the alter of honesty.

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top