Friday, April 22, 2011

Tavish faces up to the Lib Dems' Cleggacy

For those to the south of the Scottish border you may not have heard of a gentleman by the name of Tavish Scott. He's the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats who are, it appears, heading for an inglorious drubbing at the polls this May.

Here Scott is quizzed about his party's prospects on the Scottish Newsnight, or Newsnicht as they say in these parts. Car crash TV in its purest form.

Tavish does a number of things here. First of all he tries to pretend that the Scottish Lib Dems are quite separate from their southern cousins. This despite the fact that Clegg was warmly welcomed at their recent conference and that the Lib Dem MPs returned from Scotland have an identical voting record as all the rest of them.

The same broken pledges, the same attempts to blame everyone except themselves for their own actions and the same dismal poll ratings. It simply feels incredibly dishonest to try to disown a government that Lib Dem MPs in Scotland are enthusiastic members of.

Tavish also manages to say that even their plans for Scottish Water (a plan to refinance debt for a short-term cash sum paid back with interest by the tax payer) which are the centre piece of their campaign is something that they'd ditch at a moment's notice if someone, anyone, would only go into coalition with them.

I think Lib Dem voters deserve something better than this.

In fact it's the failure to take responsibility for any policy or decision that I think is the worse thing of all here. This is exemplified by the way that the closure of A and Es is blamed on Labour, even though the Lib Dems were in coalition government with them and supported the policy at the time.

Tavish then says that although Lib Dem policy is now different, the fact that Labour have changed their policy as well is some kind of disgraceful U-turn. It's one of the most incoherent defences of a party's position I've ever seen.

Some people are thinking that a No vote in the referendum is the best way to punish the Lib Dems for their shoddy coalition. I don't agree. The best way to punish them is to make sure they are beaten by the Greens on the list vote. That is where it will really hurt the Lib Dems, lost seats round the table, after all no one really gives a damn about AV anyway.


Despairing said...

Like a fine wine, that clip gets better with age.

I agree with you about the AV vote, but I suspect the English voters will already have made up their mind about "punishing" the LibDems, and there won't be enough Scottish 'Yes' voters to counteract that.

Green Christian said...

Watching that I'm left wondering whether Tavish Scott is having a really bad day, or whether the Scottish Lib Dems really elected as leader somebody who is hopeless at doing TV interviews.

Jim Jepps said...

D: my feeling is we're talking a low turnout in referendum only areas and a tight win for NO. I still haven't decided how I feel about that.

GC: He's generally weak anyway, but basically being put in an impossible position having to defend a party that's pretending it's not part of the UK coalition even though all the Scottish MPs vote with their southern colleagues all the time.