The glamorous life of the Secretary of State for Scotland

Alistair Carmichael - License Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsThe Guardian reported last night that there were rumours that Alex Salmond is staying at the luxurious Gleneagles Hotel during the SNP’s conference in Perth. True, it’s only rumours, but I’m unable to find any SNP denial and you think that they would have done. I mean, rather than stay in any of Perth’s fine hostelries, it’s being said he’s travelling half an hour down the road to the playground of the rich and famous. Surely they’d want to make him sound more like a man of the people than that.

Wherever the First Minister is laying his head, it’s unlikely to be too uncomfortable. If he is staying at Gleneagles, he could be dining in Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant on roast fillet of turbot, seaweed butter, baby fennel and clam veloute.  Compare and contrast with the not entirely jet set lifestyle of Alistair Carmichael, our new Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland.

Newsmoggie knows what he did  last Wednesday.  He’d been to the Royal National Mod (a national, annual festival of Gaelic language, music and culture) in Paisley. He and his team then dined in the splendour of McDonalds in Bishopbriggs in the heart of Jo Swinson’s constituency. He then spent the night in the humble surroundings of the Travelodge in Stirling before heading to Aberdeenshire for a day of engagements on Thursday.

I would be very surprised if Salmond ever made his own travel arrangements, but the other week when Alistair came to the Dunfermline by-election, he was found booking his own train for his trip to Steve Gilbert’s reselection in Cornwall. He also seems to manage to take everything he needs with him when he travels, unlike our First Minister. This refers to a 7 month attempt by the Scottish Government to conceal  information about when Salmond reimbursed the taxpayer for a pair of trousers bought for him on an official trip to China. Funnily enough, it was after the first Freedom of Information request had been received. I wonder how much the unnecessary secrecy cost us. I suppose it keeps the Information Commissioner in a job.

It’s good to see that Alistair’s feet remain on the ground even after more than 3 years of high government office.


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  • Sorry but if his job role is that trifling matter of keeping the United Kingdom together, perhaps he should delegate booking hotels to someone else?!?

  • Be careful! Starting that kind of hare running, and very soon all sorts of (yes, let’s be honest, senior Lib Dems) have stayed at least partly at Party / Expense accounts in luxurious hotel surroundings. The biter bit!

  • Why should Salmond stay in a travelodge?

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