End of Term Report: Michael Moore

michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandAs we near the end of the Parliamentary term and MPs get their buckets and spades together and head off for the sun (or, more likely, pack up their cars and head off on their constituency Summer tours), I thought it might be interesting to have a look back at some of the things key party figures have done this year. We’ll take a meander through the highlights and lowlights and make suggestions, not all of them entirely serious, for the year ahead.

First up is Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore. It’s not every minister who gets compared, favourably, to James Bond.

Highlights

This has been the best year of Mike Moore’s career. In October, he and SNP Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivered the Edinburgh Agreement, which laid out the process for the Independence Referendum. The end result was a win for everybody. The SNP won on timing, Mike won on oversight by the Electoral Commission and not some body concocted by the SNP and everyone won by securing a referendum that was beyond legal challenge and on working together to secure Liberal Democrat and SNP policy of allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote. It’s hard to imagine a Labour or Conservative Secretary of State working so constructively with the SNP. Labour’s relationship with the SNP government was pretty toxic, with Jim Murphy constantly trying to create a deeply unpleasant patriot vs nationalist vibe. ¬†Without Mike’s intervention, we might have had the disastrous spectacle of the Tories imposing a referendum from Westminster, which would have gone down ever so well in Scotland.

John Rentoul said history may well see Mike as the one who saved the union:

Salmond has been underestimated before, although support for independence in opinion polls has rarely exceeded one third of the electorate. But he may have met his match in Moore, as skilful in judging the politics of Whitehall as he is the mood of Scotland. It may be that, after the referendum, Moore will be counted the most successful Liberal Democrat in the Cabinet, and, even, the man who saved the United Kingdom.

And then he ended 2012 by winning Best Scot at Westminster in the Scottish Political Awards.

2013 has been about slowly and carefully nailing the SNP’s independence jelly to the wall. Mike has managed to get all of government working together on the Scotland Analysis series of papers outlining the case for the UK. He’s had George Osborne, Danny Alexander, Vince Cable, Ed Davey, William Hague and Lynne Featherstone up here to make the case.

Room for improvement?

Everyone can do better. There is always room for improvement. What I’d like to see from Mike over the next year is to be a little more robust with the SNP. He will never be anything other than polite and reasonable, and I think that’s good because people trust him. He can, however, let the SNP off with some outrageous stuff. One of the high spots of the long referendum campaign so far was a debate between Moore and Sturgeon on the STV Scotland Tonight programme. Unlike a lot that comes from both Yes Scotland and Better Together, I certainly felt that I had quite enjoyed seeing these two likeable individuals discuss the issues. There were a few times when he could have tackled her better on some of the claims she was making, though. By the time of a recent BBC webcast, he was starting to do that.

Mark

A

* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News and Op-eds.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/35265 for Twitter and emails.

One Comment

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:28pm
    @ MT - "There are plenty of people who push market solutions and favour reduced regulation and state spending without believing or claiming that “politicians...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 24th Oct - 1:22pm
    @Matthew -thanks for your reply, which basically means " orange bookers havent said this but i though i would throw in a bit of random...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:21pm
    for "west" read "east" #typo (look how down with the kids i am!)
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:21pm
    @ JT - "Although it must have been difficult on his bike carrying a bag of newspapers whilst dressed like Darth Vader." I have long...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:18pm
    @ Simon - "Like California might help out Arkansas in subsiding the Federal Government, right? One European Union, one common good. One wonderful Commission." Quite....
  • User AvatarJohn Critchley 24th Oct - 1:11pm
    We could take a look at VAT exemptions (zero rated) and cancel a lot of them. On foods retain the exemption for only basic fresh...