The most talked-about drink at the Lib Dem conference has undoubtedly been “Ginger Rodent” beer, the libation named after Danny Alexander, below. Nick Clegg was rejoicing that the beer, brewed by the Cairngorm Brewery, is to go on sale in the House of Commons bar.
The brew has been named after the unflattering description of Alexander made by his normally ultra-politically correct opponent Harriet Harman. Alexander was lamenting that Harman would have to wait before she could sample some Ginger Rodent. It has proved so popular that it has sold out after its first bottling run.
Even Rennie can’t perform miracles
While Danny Alexander was singing the praises of the Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, he made much of his track record for winning elections – in Cornwall, Dunfermline and for the Scottish Parliament. Alexander then remarked ruefully: “In fact, getting Lembit Opik re-elected is probably the only election that Willie couldn’t win.”
SNP has eye on new Holyrood watcher
The SNP is unhappy over a new plum job being offered by the coalition government. The Scotland Office, run by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, is offering a salary of £58,000 for a new civil servant role in the run-up to the referendum. The successful candidate will ensure Whitehall gets “a good understanding of key policy ‘hot topics’ affecting Scotland” and help Moore, above, in the job of “monitoring the Scottish Parliament”.
In other words, he or she will be hired to smell brown stuff before it reaches the fan. “For the UK government to create a new post to keep tabs on the Scottish Parliament looks like a partisan and inappropriate use of public money,” declares an SNP spokesman. It seems they don’t like the attention.
Will Crawford stay true to his words?
Alex Salmond has yet to declare what he plans to do with Lord McCluskey’s “draconian” plan for a press law. But at least we know what his advisers think. Newly appointed SpAd Ewan Crawford had this to say in his Scotsman column last year before taking up his job.
“Although some of the claims about the death of democracy and freedom of speech are hysterical, I also believe there is a very real risk that if politicians legislate to regulate the press they may feel they can come back for more restrictive curbs in the future.” We can only hope he remains true to his words as he assists the First Minister in reaching a decision.