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Saturday, April 04, 2015

How will Sturgeon's alleged preference for Cameron damage the SNP?

Big headlines today for allegations in the Daily Telegraph that a leaked diplomatic memo revealed that Nicola Sturgeon had confessed to the French ambassador that she would prefer that David Cameron “remains” Prime Minister. It adds that Ms. Sturgeon thinks Ed Miliband is too incompetent.

The New Statesman says that the leaked transcript, a UK government memo says:-

“Just had a telephone conversation with Pierre-Alain Coffinier, the French CG [consul-general]. He was keen to fill me in on some of the conversations his Ambassador had during her visit to Scotland last week. All of this was given on a confidential basis… The Ambassador….had a truncated meeting with the FM [Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister] (FM running late after a busy Thursday…). Discussion appears to have focused mainly on the political situation, with the FM stating that she wouldn’t want a formal coalition with Labour; that the SNP would almost certainly have a large number of seats… that she’d rather see David Cameron remain as PM (and didn’t see Ed Miliband as PM material).”

It seems that Ms Sturgeon hasn’t yet worked out that ambassadors gossip like fishwives, and anything confessed on the diplomatic circuit would be all around London fairly soon.

But this is more than just an embarrassment to Sturgeon, for two reasons. First, on 8 May, the SNP may well be in a position to choose who gets to be Prime Minister: if it refuses to support Ed Miliband this may put in David Cameron by default.

And second, the SNP is about to supplant Labour in dozens of seats across Scotland precisely because it is posing as a tartan version of Labour. A party that loathes the Tories even more than Labour does, so Labour voters can support the SNP without having to worry about another five years of David Cameron.

All concerned are denying it of course but there is no doubting that having an Old Etonian in No.10 Downing Street suits the SNP’s wider purpose. After all, opinion polls in Scotland show that the main desired outcome of the Scottish people is an SNP/Labour deal. If Scotland gets that then the demand for independence will wane. And that is not good news for the SNP.
"All concerned are denying it of course"
Yes indeed, Peter, including the First Minister herself, the French consul general in Edinburgh, Pierre-Alain Coffinier, whose comments are claimed to have been the basis for the leaked memo, and the spokesman for the French ambassador Sylvie Bermann, who said that the SNP leader had not expressed an opinion on who she would prefer as prime minister.
I'd say that is pretty emphatic.
And yet the media are all reporting it and it seems that the memo exists!
Yes they are, and why could that possibly be? The establishment is terrified of the SNP. The only political movement that poses a threat at present. The Telegraph has produced a 4th hand story that does not pass the basic requirements of serious journalism. If they had the "memo" they would produce it. Peter, you are miles better than to be seen giving credence to this crap.

The SNP has categorically denied it. The French Consul General has categorically denied it. The author of the memo expresses doubt about the central claim. The Telegraph failed to contact any of the relevant parties for reaction or comment before publishing – a telltale sign that a journalist lacks confidence in his or her supposed newsline.

Of course your Interest in this has nothing to with the Lib Dems likely to lose at least 10 seats in Scotland.
And yet it is a legitimate story that has put the SNP on the defensive. And let's face it, whatever the SNP say publicly we all know that it will suit their agenda better to have Cameron in No.10 than Miliband. That is why the story has gained traction.
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