He came, he saw, he gulped.

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Danny Alexander came to Holyrood yesterday and in an historic moment promptly became the first UK cabinet secretary to announce the date of execution of his own political career – it is to be 20th October, the deadline for the UK government’s spending review.

The Highland’s MP was there to deliver bad news and in front of shocked onlookers he gulped enthusiastically from the poisoned chalice he had unexpectedly inherited.


Danny Alexander came to Holyrood yesterday and in an historic moment promptly became the first UK cabinet secretary to announce the date of execution of his own political career – it is to be 20th October, the deadline for the UK government’s spending review.

The Highland’s MP was there to deliver bad news and in front of shocked onlookers he gulped enthusiastically from the poisoned chalice he had unexpectedly inherited.

Mr Alexander had been one of the Lib Dem group of hand picked strategists and negotiators who, once locked away with the Tories after the general election resulted in a hung parliament, forced the Conservatives to give up pretty much nothing and in return agreed to a coalition in which the Lib Dems became the fall guys for the biggest package of financial cuts the UK has ever seen.

The lanky red haired prefect, a ‘match’ for any man, looked completely ill at ease in the Holyrood committee room as he was questioned by the ex STV reporter and now Labour MSP David Whitton.  The other members of Holyrood’s finance committee must have disappeared that day and left the job to David, for his is the name that dominates in the balanced and informative pages of the Scottish press.

David asked the prefect “how he felt about making the poor poorer”.  A quick thinking wag may have responded “probably the same as Labour did”, or even highlighted the fossil fuel levy fund – another ‘compassionate release’ that Labour have always opposed.  But the prefect was caught in the headlights and stood motionless as he was run over by the Whitton white van.

David said that the Chief Secretary had turned-out to be “the Tories man inflicting pain on us all”, David had obviously forgotten about ‘Lord McConnell of ImAlrightJack’ who will be cushioned from the savage cuts by white ermine robes; so not quite “us all” – thank heavens Lord McConnell is off to fight for the poor (us) in between filling in his Lords expenses forms, a timely ennoblement indeed.

There was momentary excitement as the prefect produced the tin of ‘Calman Spinach’ – guaranteed to give extra powers.  If he could have opened it there and then the prefect might have chewed on the green mulch and set about ‘Bluto’ Whitton.  Wham, smack, biff as Bluto is given a sound thrashing by the former Mr Wimpy.

Alas the c(alm)an opener was still missing and this legendary Unionist holy grail, first mentioned in the Scotsman and Herald dead sea scrolls, remained as far off as when Sir Kenneth de-Calman first set out in search of it centuries earlier.

The prefect announced that a high-powered group will be created in order to continue the quest for the c(alm)an opener and that we could expect results within the next 150 years – unless the oil ran out in which case they’ll just rip open a packet of ‘instant independence’ and bid us Scots farewell.

So, the scape goat …. er, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, explained that Labour had spent too much on the Provvy and it’s pay back time.  Scotland can’t ignore the collector at the door by pretending not to be in, remember Westminster ‘arrests’ our wages at source and we get what they decide.

The prefect refused to reveal just how much would be deducted from our grant, insisting that we would have to wait until October to find out.  He did however say “I think the Scottish Government has plenty of bright economists who can work through the forecasts to help them plan ahead”.

Indeed they have Mr Prefect, and the plan is that we bring to an end this crazy system where we hand our money over to the neighbours for them to squander at will.  Let’s try looking after ourselves for a change, we can hardly do any worse.

There are at least 1.3 billion new reasons for giving the plan a go not to mention 300 million new barrels of oil that, unlike the one created by London, we most certainly won’t be over.

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