The ill wind of the financial crisis blows kindly for the political fortunes of Gordon Brown at the moment. The news this week that he is to break convention and campaign in the Glenrothes by election is a straw in the self-same wind. Only two weeks ago, it was in Glenrothes that he was supposed to meet his nemesis, but now Labour may have a chance, as Andy MacSmith once press handler to the late John Smith opines in the Independent. The same wind blows ill on Alex Salmond whose narrative of Scottish independence will have to be revised, according to observers including BBC Scotlands political editor Brian Taylor.
We’re unlikely to hear over-much from Alex Salmond in future about the “arc of prosperity…. You know, Norway, Ireland…….and Iceland. These were to be the lodestones for Scotland’s future financial direction. Sundry parties of a Unionist persuasion will, severally and collectively, suggest that Mr Salmond’s fundamental economic case has been undermined.
The Nationalists have an answer. They will say that what matters is not, intrinsically, the size of the state but the state of the economic and fiscal policies pursued by the government, together, of course, with global conditions.
Mike Small in Our Kingdom Remember Remember the 6th of November spots division between the London and Scottish commentariat and asks a good question: in the campaign, how does Brown explain away English jealousy over SNP freebies?
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London