Wednesday, September 20, 2006
A Cascade of Fibs
On Sunday 03 September it was reported in the Sunday Herald that the "Scottish Liberal Democrats are preparing to ditch Jack McConnell as First Minister by declining to enter a coalition with Labour afternext year's Holyrood election...Senior strategists say Nicol does not want to share office with aparty "on the way down" and would prefer to keep his options open on athree-way coalition with the SNP and Greens."
So far so good. But only Sunday past he was launching another initiative which the pressaraty concluded was a signal that he was closing down his options and would enter a coalition with Labour.
In the Scotland on Sunday of 17 September Nicol was saying in relation to a colaition with the Nats: "We are clearly opposed to a referendum on independence. We are not a party that supports independence and the only reason forholding a referendum would be as a first step to separation."
So was the first leak a fib or was Nicol fibbing? By Monday punters were even more confused.
The Scotsman of 18 September reported "Sir Menzies Campbell, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said helooks favourably on a coalition with the SNP," whilst Nicol was signalling "his opposition to a referendum on independence, effectively ruling out acoalition with the rival party".
Tuesday, 19 September and Nicol is far clearer on the BBC when he emphatically said "his party could only work with the SNP if it abandoned its "blocking" policy of an independence referendum".
However by evening BBC Reporting Scotland was reporting that East Dunbartonshire LibDem leader John Morrison was not happy with conditions being set and said they should wait to see the election results.
Next day the Scotsman of Wednesday 20 September reports "Stephen leaves way clear for coalition talks with SNP".
Effectively leaving us back where we started two weeks ago...or ever when it comes to finding out when the Fibs are telling the truth.
Nevertheless Nicol's opposition to a referendum on independence does raise another question.
On the official Lib's website they promote this from the Earl of Mar and Kellie who says "a democratic path should be available to Scottish independence" with his Bill on a, er, referendum on independence.
Since it's on their official website, and the Earl hasn't been sacked from the official positions he has been appointed to, then the logic of that must be that they have an open mind on the matter. Or are they playing at being FibNats with some voters and Fiberal Unionists with others?
The ScotFibDem Conference was ruined when John Morrison and Mar & Kellie opposed Nicol's motion on a coalition
* Clairol? Is she or isn't she...?