Monday, 5 October 2009

Sloppy talk from Cameron

I suspect it was just sloppy wording, but I was intrigued by the way David Cameron phrased his rather vacuous pledge of respecting Scotland should he become Prime Minister.

Now leave aside the fact that respect has to be a two-way process. I doubt that Alex Salmond is going to do anything other than continually provoke fights between the Scottish Government and Westminster, in the way he's done over the past few years.

And ignore also the fact that respect can't hide the fact that there will be difficult decisions that have to be made about budgets and priorities, even without any manufactured disputes.

Let's look at how Cameron actually worded his pledge of respect. He said: "I would govern with respect because I know that even if we do well, we are unlikely to get a majority of Scottish seats and so we have to govern and work with the Scottish administration."

I'm sure it's unintentional, but that implies that if somehow the Tories did get a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster, they wouldn't feel the need to work with the Scottish Government, even though it's a completely separate Parliament elected by a different system and so is not responsible to Westminster.

In itself this probably doesn't matter much, but if Prime Minister Cameron is this sloppy when he's negotiating with the Scottish Government, I'm afraid Alex Salmond is going to run rings round him.

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