The Guardian reports that Independent Scotland would struggle on world stage, says Alistair Darling. It is a PA piece. How disappointing for Captain Darling that Labour's House Journal, The Guardian couldn't even be bothered to send its own correspondent to the big launch of Better Together Glasgow. Yes you read that right folks. Better Together, founded on 25 June 2011, has just got around to launching Better Together Glasgow. More interestingly, the report of the big launch in the heartland of Scottish Labour and The Orange Order reports that:
The meeting was held in the near-capacity Mitchell theatre in Glasgow, and was attended by politicians, campaigners and members of the public.
Wow! They nearly managed to fill a whole theatre this time? Well, the capacity of the Mitchell Auditorium is 412, most reports say there were 70 - 80 empty seats so it's not that impressive once you subtract the press corps and Labour, Better Together, Tory, Orange Order, Lib Dem, UKIP, BNP and SDL politicians, place-men and staff.
Responding to a placed question about Syria, Darling came out with:
"Unfortunately and tragically, the atrocities that are being visited upon the people of Syria are going to continue," he said, responding to a question about the controversial Commons vote against potential military action.
"Ultimately, the long-term solution is going to have to be diplomatic and the UK has got far more clout in the United Nations, and in the G20 which is meeting in Russia next week, than a smaller country ever would.
"I've been to lots of these meetings throughout the time I was a minister and large countries, particularly one with a reputation like ours, have clout. "I don't think there's anyone in this room who wouldn't want to see the clout of the UK, if possible along with other countries, trying to bring an end to the bloodshed taking place in Syria."
Given that the UK Government was all for dowsing the flames in Syria by adding British firepower to the mix when it isn't even remotely clear that it was the Assad Regime that was responsible for the recent chemical attacks, indeed it may well have been Saudi Arabia and the Al Quaeda Rebels: I'll quite happily live without British "Clout", as will the many innocent Syrians who would have died had Cameron managed to tick off the 'Get into the history books by getting the UK involved in a war' box.
Wee Ruthie Davidson trotted out the tired old line implying that Scots (and English folk) wouldn't be able to get medical care in each others' specialist centres:
"You can get treated here, but if there's not a specialist unit in Scotland, you can go to a unit in Newcastle or elsewhere," she said. "There is nothing that gets in the way of that."
There is nothing that gets in the way of that in Northern Ireland and the Republic either, Ruthie. So please grow up and start treating the Scottish electorate as adults. If you want to play at that level, here's Captain Darling teaching Spike Milligan how to tread the boards of the World Stage:
Wings over Scotland
This one's for Willie
Fear & Self-Loathing
The Troodos Conundrum
Revealed: Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after war began
Darling criticised for 'crass, insensitive and parochial' comments on Syria