Goldie joins Shadow Cabinet

Via The Scotsman:

    DAVID Cameron has installed Annabel Goldie in his shadow Cabinet in London as part of his strategy to bring Holyrood and Westminster closer together.
    Goldie, below, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, will attend shadow Cabinet meetings once a month as the Tories attempt to build stronger links between Edinburgh and London in the run-up to the General Election.

This is presented as somewhat of a step up for Goldie, and as a nice natural Unionist friendly link building exercise.

But is that really the case? In a sense Cameron has pulled rank, and it is a centralising move that seems out of step with decentralising message that Cameron is currently pushing. It certainly seems to limit the the freedom of action that Goldie might otherwise have; even Labour FMs occassionally defied the wishes of the government at Westminster, for example over the smoking ban. If the Tories were in government in London, and Goldie in coalition in Scotland, would she be a member of the cabinet and thus bound by cabinet collective responsibility?

  • slug

    To have a say at the top table brings responsibility but also power. It is devolutionist and Unionist.

    I wonder if Sir Reg is next.

  • DC said a couple of weeks ago, in a criticism made against GB, that part of the Central Government role should include more contact with the Devolved Governments of NI, Scotland and Wales. She is obviously being prepared for that role as the Conservatives prepare for Government.

    You could say it is a central control exercise (depending on which way you look at it). You could also say that this is a recipe for greater harmony on matters where administration overlaps between the central government and the regions.

  • Kensei

    Seymour

    DC said a couple of weeks ago, in a criticism made against GB, that part of the Central Government role should include more contact with the Devolved Governments of NI, Scotland and Wales.

    Would he be offering Alex Salmond et al a place in the Cabinet, should he be elected?

  • BonarLaw

    “would she be a member of the cabinet and thus bound by cabinet collective responsibility?”

    Given that she is neither a peer nor an MP she would not be part of the UK cabinet so collective responsibility should not be an issue.

    “DC said a couple of weeks ago, in a criticism made against GB, that part of the Central Government role should include more contact with the Devolved Governments of NI, Scotland and Wales.”

    The Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) system already exists to facilitate contact between the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations.

  • Kensei

    Bonar

    Given that she is neither a peer nor an MP she would not be part of the UK cabinet so collective responsibility should not be an issue.

    Is there legal impediement to her being at the meetings? venif she wa snot formally part of the cabinet, could she be in all but name? In that case, the pressure to adhere to the principle would be huge.

    And if this isn’t continuing in the case where Tories are elected, what is she doing i the Shadow Cabinet in the first place?

    Devolving power means cutting peple loose, to an extent.

  • She will become the first Scottish Tory leader regularly to attend meetings of the shadow Cabinet, where she will be a shadow first minister

    Shadow First Minister is perhaps a slight exaggeration… Also, presumably David Mundell already attends the Shadow Cabinet? His reaction/future role is not mentioned here which is curious. But quite a symbolic move and, as Kensei mentions, one which seems to contradict the growing autonomy of the Scottish Conservative party. I wonder if the symbolism is aimed at the Tory grassroots back in Scotland which must have been alarmed at the Ms Goldie’s recent snuggle-ups to the SNP during the budget debate and also the “English votes for English measures” which Cameron is reportedly leaning towards.

  • William

    Slug…..You have it in one…..after the formal link-up with the Conservatives, the Unionist Party Leader will have the same access as Ms Goldie….not as members of the Shadow Cabinet but with a listening brief at their meetings.

    This has been confirmed by the Tory representatives who have spoken to members of the UUP.

  • Brian Walker

    kensei,Thanks for pointing the story out. I suspect you may be overcomplicating this a little. Miss Goldie in the shadow cabinet is just part of Cameron’s neat politiking over devolution, which includes his promise of more regular meetings with Salmond and other FMs. He will steer clear of making an unholy alliance with the SNP but go as far as he can to show the Westminster centre under the Tories would be more responsive than under Broon’s New Labour. There would be no question of Miss Goldie MSP becoming a member of the UK cabinet – which is the main body of the UK executive. If as PM Cameron were to retain the territorial depts of State ( which he would do well to abolish in order to create a proper dept of nations and regions to liaise with the devolved institutions more effectively ) the Scottish rep in the cabinet would remain the secretary of state for Scotland who would be an MP – or though very unlikely – a peer.

  • blinding

    It may well just be a sop to the conservative party in Scotland as Blairlite(Cameron) is involved in some shady deals with the SNP to do as much damage to Labour in Scotland and hang the consequences

  • jone

    I got excited for a second when I thought Call me Dave had invited gold-toothed drum n’ bass legend Goldie into the shadow cabinet. But alas zzzzzz…..

  • kensei

    Brian

    Miss Goldie in the shadow cabinet is just part of Cameron’s neat politiking over devolution, which includes his promise of more regular meetings with Salmond and other FMs

    Of course it is politicking, but it is smart politicking? As I pointed out there are various questions and side effects to this. The SNP will play nice now as they’ll need votes in Holyrood, but come the next election they’ll hammer the Tories for being pawns of Westminster.

    More meeting with Salmond? Either you pull rank on Salmond, which will be like poking a crocodile with a stick or you elevate him to your equal and make people entirely comfortable with that. Large bits of this seem not thought through.