THE reopening of Grangemouth has saved Yes Scotland and the First Minister from an embarrassment that could have derailed efforts to win the referendum in September 2014.
|Scooped by Peter A Bell|
I suspect Matt Qvortrup has been watching events at Grangemouth through the distorting lens of the BBC, which has been almost frantic in its efforts to secure credit for the UK Government as the "saviour" of the facility and the jobs.
The reality, of course, is that Cameron and Osborne shunned the issue from the outset, meekly accepting that the company could do whatever it wanted. And Alistair Carmichael only got involved in the later stages when most of the work had already been done.
It was certainly John Swinney who conducted the "quiet and persistent diplomacy" which led to an outcome that we are obliged to regard as satisfactory only because the alternative was so bad. But Salmond was prepared to put his not inconsiderable political weight behind Swinney's efforts without regard for the damage he might suffer if things went wrong. Conduct which stands in stark contrast to the craven cowardice displayed by Cameron.
It is to Salmond's further credit that he has been prepared to talk up the part played by the UK government in the interests of avoiding politicising such a sensitive issue. He could have made political capital out of this, but chose instead to settle for the more subtle approach of further enhancing his administration's already considerable reputation for quiet competence.
Make no mistake! That reputation will weigh heavily in favour of a Yes vote in next year's referendum.