Monday, 3 November 2014

Rats and stables

The big news story of yesterday is the Alastair Darling is to stand down as MP for Edinburgh South at the General Election in May, the reason being given as that he wants to retire while he's still relatively young.  I have seen some comments that this might give Jim Murphy the opportunity he's looking for to become an MSP, if an MSP for the region were to stand down as an MSP to stand as an MP instead, thus leaving a vacancy for Mr Murphy to fill.  I don't think this is a likely scenario however, as most of the MSP seats in the Edinburgh area are held by SNP, with only one being held by Labour (Malcolm Chisholm in Edinburgh North and Leith) by a very slender margin.  Since there would be no safe seats for Labour in the area, and the MSP standing down would lose their resettlement allowance by leaving their post early, I can't see this happening.

 Mr Darling has also indicated that he would like to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, describing it as 'boil that need to be lanced'.  There now seems to be a certain inevitability about an EU in/out referendum, which is even recognised in Europe, with Angela Merkel saying that Germany would accept an UK exit rather than compromise on the rules on free movement of labour.  This last ought to be a warning to David Cameron that Europe's patience is beginning to wear thin.  Credit to Mr Darling, however, for consistency.  He campaigned to retain the UK union and now he intends to campaign to retain the UK's part in the European Union.

There was also a story in the Telegraph yesterday about how MPs who have been accused of abusing the expenses system will escape official investigation after a large amount of paperwork on the matter was shredded.  Looks like the Augean stables remain as filthy as ever then.


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