Sunday 31 May 2015

The SNP stole not only Labour seats but their talent as well it seems

I suppose i must  admit that I was wrong when in a previous post when I commented on the new SNP members  and their making their maiden speech 

Only a few days ago I wrote.
t could be weeks even months before the tedious boring "Tradition" of making a maiden speech there is a convention that maiden speeches should be relatively uncontroversial, often consisting of a general statement of the politician's beliefs and background rather than a partisan comment on a current topic
And then the SNP have been turning  up on Mass shaming the Labour opposition and of course Tommy Shepard maiden speech  which has gone viral

And then he turned up on the Daily Poltics and give  another assured  performance

His political biography is interesting
"Sheppard was born in ColeraineCounty Londonderry in 1959 and moved to nearby Portstewart at the age of 7. He attended the local grammar school in Coleraine and then attended Aberdeen University to study medicine. He graduated with a degree in politics and sociology in 1982. That same year he was elected Vice-President of the NUSand moved to London.[2]He left the NUS in 1984 to work in the East End and in 1986 was elected as a Labour member, on Hackney London Borough Council. In 1990 he became Deputy Leader of the Council.[2] Sheppard contested the Bury St Edmunds at the United Kingdom general election, 1992unsuccessfully for the Labour Party polling 14,767 votes and 23.6% of the vote. He then moved back to Scotland and settled in Edinburgh, originally taking up a position with the District Council. In 1994 he was appointed Assistant General Secretary under John Smith. In 1997 he was made redundant from this role due to internal policy disagreements.[2] He ceased to renew his Labour Party membership in 2003.In 2012 he became the Edinburgh South organiser of the Yes Scotland campaign but only joined the SNP in 2014 after the Scottish independence referendum, 2014 was defeated. He was selected as a candidate for the Edinburgh East constituency[3] and polled 23,188 and 49.2% of the vote securing election with a majority of 9,106 and defeating incumbent Labour MP, Sheila Gilmore in the process."
It has often be said that part of the current success of the SNP is that they sent their most Talented politicians to Holyrood whilst Labour   sent theirs to Westminster Gordon Brown,Alistair Darling, Robin Cook etc

It could be argued by wining 64 seats in the Scottish  Parliament the SNP may have exhausted its Talent but the Independence campaign brought new talent like Sheppard to the fore and now many  are in Westminster.

How Plaid can do the same without the  impetus of an independence campaign garnered  new talent is questionable but then they need to get more of the undoubted talent they have already elected next year to thew Assembly.

For Labour just a perusal of their elected politicians looks that their elected Westminster and Assembly members  cupboard is bare . They had to go foe Kinnock's  son in Aberavon for gods sake.

The three Plaid MPs  certainly have the Talent the danger is that they may be swamped by some of the new SNP intake . They may have agreed (ightly) to work as a Bloc with the SNP  bu t they wil need to have a distinctive Welsh voice.

Its not going to come from the Labour Benches that's ' for sure 

Saturday 30 May 2015

Scottish Secretary's power of veto will be duplicated in Wales/

Whilst we in Wales may look on Scottish Devolution with envy we also should should look at the latest batch of "Devo-Max" bills for the wording and expect similar duplicity in any form of Devo-Dipyn Bach that wlil be drafted later.

According to the Nation Newspaper 
SCOTLAND’S only Tory MP will be able to veto decisions made by the Scottish Parliament.
The Scotland Bill, published yesterday morning requires Scottish Ministers to obtain the permission of the Secretary of State for Scotland if they want to use any of the new powers.
Repeatedly throughout the bill and the explanatory notes, Scottish Ministers are told they “must have consulted with, and obtained the agreement of, the Secretary of State”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reacted angrily to what she said amounted to vetoes, and said the Scotland Bill, “falls short in almost every area”.
and the Bill as Wings over Scotland points out certainly has clauses  which suggest t 56  and a SNP majority in Holyrood count as nothing to 1 single Tory even if there were no Scottish Tory MPs and they were forced to find someone from a English this clause shows
A Scotland Office spokesman denied that the power of veto still existed:
It is factually wrong to claim there are vetoes in the Bill. These are sensible, practical arrangements to ensure the transfer of new powers smoothly.”

Well that's not how Wings over Scotland or I read it.

such agreement "not to be unreasonably withheld "reads like a veto to me 

Answering a question from one of her backbenchers, Nicola Sturgeon said: 

The bill does not contain the full welfare powers recommended by the Smith commission and it retains – unbelievably, given the amount of concern that was expressed – a veto for the UK Government on key policy areas. If, for example, the Scottish Parliament wants to abolish the Bedroom Tax, as I hope that we do, the UK Government would still have a right of veto over whether we could. I am sorry, but that is not devolution.”

It is vital that we in Wales note this such powers of a "veto" will undoubtedly  be included in any future Welsh Bill and who can doubt that a Welsh Secretary  will use this in the safe knowledge that it will not necessarily  affect  Wales's relationship with the rest of the Union .

With the sole Tory as Secretary of  State for Scotland and his Shadow Ian Murry being the 
(the last remaining Labour MP in Scotland) the democratic deficit of such people speaking for Scotland in the House of Commons and having powers of Veto is clearer than in Wales but nevertheless although the Tories made gains in Wales 11/40 MIP's does not give them a mandate to veto our Assembly Bills and we must try and make sure they don't.

Friday 29 May 2015

How the Parties did in Wales

Roger Scully  over at Elections in Wales has been crunching the numbers  over the General Election he might be right when he says  

"Sometimes I think it’s best just to let the numbers speak for themselves…" but there are some interesting facts

For Labour its highest share of the vote was in Blaenau Gwent: 58.0% wich it only regained from Rebels i.n 2010 Its lowest share was in the LibDem - Conservative Battleground of Montgomeryshire: 5.6%Its biggest positive was in Cardiff Central: +11.2% thier only gain in Wales. and the lowest Cynon Valley: -4.8% where there was probably some resentment over Ann Clwyd reversing her decision to stand down.

Labour Lost 0 deposits

For the Conservatives  its highest share of the votes was in Monmouth: 49.9% which has long en their Welsh Stronghold . Their lowest share was the Rhondda: 6.7% and the biggest swing was in Wrexham: +6.2% and the lowest Cardiff Central: -6.9%

The Conservatives lost 0 deposits

For Ukip the highest vote was in Islwyn: 19.6% followed closely by Caerphilly: 19.3% which must be worrying for Plaid  who know these are seats they need to capture in the Assembly if they are ever to form a Welsh Government. The lowest Ukip vote was in Cardiff Central: 6.5% followed by Cardiff North 7.7% which suggest that like many parties they can be squeezed in marginal battles . Its highest swing was in Caerphilly: +17.0% and its lowest Cardiff Central: +4.4%. So although Ukip caused a stir they nowhere can as yet look like gaining a Welsh seat under First Past the Post.

Though witth 0 lost deposits it can't be denied they vote was spread through out Wales

For Plaid its highest share was in Arfon: 43.9% and its lowest Newport East: 3.5% its highest swing was in the Rhondda: +8.9% which may give Leanne Wood some encouragement when she contest that seat in the Assembly Elections   next year its lowest swing was surprisingly Llanelli: -7.0% a seat that they had campaigned hard in 

 Plaid lost 7 deposits mainly in the Border regions 

For the LibDems (and if you are one llook away now ) the figures are truly teeing its highest vote was predictably   Ceredigion: 35.9% and its lowest was the Rhondda: 1.5% it the only party that saw no gain in votes so Ynys Môn: -5.4% is counted even though its negative. i is lowest swing was  in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney:  with a staggering-26.9%

Even more staggering for  aparty which did so well in 2010 was that they lost 30 out of 40 deposits which means unless they are showing the LIibDems beating the likes of the Monster Raving Loony Party many will be spared the "Little Bar Graphs" on LibDem  election leaflets in the  foreseeable future.

Thursday 28 May 2015

SNP clapping in HOC signifies a desire to break arcane traditions.

There maybe more to the story that Scottish National Party MPs have been told to stop clapping in the House of Commons by Speaker John Bercow.

The MPs clapped on at least three separate occasions during the response by their leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson.

Mr Bercow told the MPs to "show some respect" for the traditions of parliament.
He intervened after Mr Robertson criticised Labour's supposed support for austerity.
Seeing that during their induction the SNP were already told that the convention (not the rules mind) is that  MPs pbey the arcane method os shouting Hear Hear  this looks like a deleberate statement that the SNP are not going to be bound by arcane traditions.
The new intake of MPs erupted on at least three separate occasions when SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson's responded to the Queen's Speech. 

However  because of "Tradition", MPs are only allowed to speak in the Commons when they have made their maiden speeches, meaning most of the SNP cannot currently make their voices heard.

It could be weeks even months before the tedious boring "Tradition" of making a maiden speech there is a convention that maiden speeches should be relatively uncontroversial, often consisting of a general statement of the politician's beliefs and background rather than a partisan comment on a current topic

Frustrating for a new MP who wants to take part in debates from the start

These "Traditions" have nothing to do with respect they are about binding MPs into the Public School Oxbridge world in Westminster. 

The idea is once a MP gets embroiled in these "Traditions" n the House of Commons, Members of Parliament refer to members as "the honourable member for ... (constituency)" but as "the right honourable member for ..." if they are Privy Councillors but now hold no ministry. To save recalling places in direct replies, the use of "the honourable lady/gentleman, or the Minister (often, fordepartment)/Chancellor/Prime Minister" is available to refer to members not in their own party (or coalition) where the person referred to has spoken. Similarly, those in their own party are referred to as "my (right) honourable friend", right depending on if they are Privy Councillors. Other honorifics used in addition for those members in relevant professions ("honourable and reverend", "honourable and gallant" ( If they are former army officers" and "honourable and learned") are now rare in the Commons.

Why can't they call each other by name as the Assembly or Scottish Parliament does?

But the whole system is made to make MP think they are part of a special elite seduced by the Pomp of the Queens Speech.and the other "Traditions"

And one of these Traditions that even if you a committed Republican you can not openly criticise the Royal Family in what is supposed be the main democratic legislature in these islands.

Hopefully the SNP clapping was a gesture that they are no going to be seduced into playing Westminster game  and that these arcane "Traditions" have no place in a modern democracy.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Plaid get their priories wrong over basing military in Wales.

I was somewhat shocked to see in the Wasting Mule Online this morning that 
It reads
Plaid Cymru will launch a bid today to ensure many Welsh servicemen and women are based in Wales when not on active service.
Defence spokesman and Arfon MP Hywel Williams will call for the UK Government to carry out a “full assessment and feasibility study”.
Today, the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh is based at Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire. The Queen’s Dragoon Guards’ UK home is Swanton Morley in Norfolk, and the Welsh Guards are based at Pirbright, Surrey.
Plaid argues that basing members of the armed forces in Wales would allow soldiers to enjoy wider support networks and would also be good for the Welsh economy.
 Mr Williams said: 

In our election manifesto, Plaid Cymru said that we would investigate basing Welsh regiments in Wales when not on active service.“We will push for this and press for the government to consider stationing one or all of the Welsh regiments in Wales.
“Historically this has had support from all political parties in Wales, as various motions and voices of support in parliament down the years testify. Currently, the three Welsh regiments are stationed in England when not on active service.
“At the beginning of this week the last of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards that were stationed in Germany, have been moved back to the UK – but are stationed in East Anglia.
“Not only are there several locations in Wales that are suitable for stationing a regiment, but facilities in Wales are excellent.”

Are these realy Welsh Regiments ?

The Queens Dragoons Guards  Wales and the bordering English counties of Herefordshire, and Shropshire but what percentage of the Regiment including Officers are actually Welsh ?

Personally I'm fed up with seeing Military Personnel  always at the opening of Welsh International Matches  to see the WRU acting as propaganda for successive governments who try with ideas like Armed Forces Day seek to create a constant link with the military and their interventionist polices in the Middle East.

Plaid should be concentrating on making sure that young Welsh Men and Women are not forced by lack of Job prospects to join the military as the only option left to them.

It is to its credit that  Plaid's former MP Elfyn Llwyd, fought  almost alone for the care of former soldiers 

In 2011 speaking on  ministers' failure to put the military covenant into law, an MP has said

"It is politicians who place these brave troops in harm's way. We owe them a duty to ensure their wellbeing upon their return home. Anything else is a breach of the military covenant,".
Mr Llwyd  at the time said he had been excluded from committee stage of the bill, saying it "smacks of a stitch-up - in the same way as this toothless clause is stitching up veterans".
"There is a mandatory duty on the government to implement the military covenant.
pitifully in this respect and we are still seeing increasing numbers of veterans in prison - maybe as high as at one in nine of the prison population.
 "This was an opportunity to put veterans' welfare at the heart of the bill - one that has been badly missed."He added
: "I fear that this government is about to continue in this failure to our troops."

Plaid should concentrate  on the work n the work that Elfyn Llwyd  had led in Westminster  seeking to protect  those who have horrible physical and metal scars from their service in War to enhance the vanity of the likes of Tony Blair  who  wanted to be sen as World leader..

Cheered o by these politicians and and media as they marched taway many of the broken men and women who return are ignored . The above figuer that they make up One in Nine of the prison population is a disgrace.

I don't care where these servicemen are based in the UK I do care that when thier service is over they are not abandoned.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Road Safety a victim of Devo Dipyn Bach.?

The claim that Limited devolution may be harming road safety progress in Wales, by the UK motoring charity the RAC Foundation is of interest not only it what it says but because I believe it is the first time a UK wide organisation has called  for more powers for the Welsh Assembly 
Welsh roads have seen the smallest fall in deaths and serious injuries compared with other parts of the UK.
The RAC Foundation said the number fell by 15% in Wales in 2013, when compared with the average figure for 2005-09. The average fall across the UK was 23%.
Few road safety powers are devolved to Wales but funding comes from the Welsh government, the RAC pointed out.
In Northern Ireland, where road safety is fully devolved, the number of deaths and serious injuries fell by 35% in 2013.
In Scotland, where the Scottish Parliament has powers to set national speed limits and the drink drive limit, the number fell by 33%.
Powers over speed limits are set to be devolved to the Assembly in the next Wales Bill – although there are calls from the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the First Minister Carwyn Jones for drink driving limits to also be handed over to AMs.
A Welsh Government spokesman said:
 “Although we have some of the safest roads in the world, we are determined to reduce casualties. We work with other UK administrations when developing our policies to reduce causalities on Welsh roads.
“Our Road Safety Framework identifies measures to protect the most vulnerable road users with an aspiration to reach zero fatalities on Welsh roads in the future.
“Following a comprehensive review of safety on the trunk road network, in January we announced an extra £6.4m for a programme of works to improve safety at 280 locations.
“Last week, we awarded another £6m to road safety capital, training and education projects across Wales and next month we will be announcing a new fund to tackle motorcycle casualties.”

This is a issue that  shows once again that we in Wales have third rate devolution and when a respected UK wide charity acknowledges this its time that we demand the powers that Scotland have in one area.

But it of course must go further  the policy of giving Wales what I call Devo Dipyn Bach as opposed to Devo Max for Scotland id damaging peoples faith in the Assembly and its not helped by giving AM T a  18.5% pay (£10000)  rise only serves to enhance public dissolution with devolution in Wales.

When it comes to powers that can make the Welsh Assembly as relevent in our minds as the Scottish Parliament is to people there.  We should make the call.

We want it all and we want it now.

Monday 25 May 2015

Kim Howells on GE2015 not really understanding why they lost.

It must be frustrating to be an ex MP and finding unless you get the  accolade of elder statesman no one is asks your opinion anymore .

So for someone like Kim Howells who never tires of hearing his own voice an opportunity to speak out on the General Election.

Former Communist Party member turned Arch-Blarite Kim Howells has been spouting off to the BBC

He suggested to the BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement programme that the Labour general election campaign was “unmitigated gloom” and that policies such as the mansion tax didn’t promote the need for entrepreneurship.
“I didn’t vote for Labour out of admiration for its policies at the general election, I voted out of tribal loyalty,” he said.
“The notion that we were going to pay for everything from these odd and crazy taxes, the Mansion tax what it was doing all the time was that it was undermining the belief in people that if you work hard and get on you are going to get nailed by a government that is going to tax you more and more and more."

 "It's probably at least as bad as under Michael Foot's leadership when we were in real dire straits."If the Labour party doesn't come up with fresh thinking, with some radical analysis of what's going on in society and what people need out of society, it could well dwindle to a very small number of MPs."

In Wales, the party won 25 out of 40 seats, but had expected to improve on the 26 seats it won in 2010.
Of those seats, it lost Gower to the Conservatives by 27 votes, a constituency Labour had held for more than 100 years.

Howells acknowledged Labour's biggest successes were in the city and coal field regeneration areas.

"If we ever want to be back in government again, we need to win southern England," 

So is he saying abandoning the people of city and coal field regeneration areas.for votes of Tory supoters in Southern England is the policy Barbour should pursue?

Can it be that that like himself  the people of Wales should vote Labour out of "Tribal Loyality whilst  the party abandons  them as they pursue Tory votes in Tory Southern England with Tory policies?

He seems incapable of acknowledging   the true Disaster for Labour in the election namely Scotland  where Labour was almost wiped out by the SNP running partly on an Anti-Austerity program

Well he did but only to say only to say  didn’t think Welsh Labour could be wiped out in the same way in Wales

He said 
 “Carwyn Jones is much sharper leader than that. They’ve proved that they can run a government in Wales, and people trust them”.

Hm some think that the success of the Tories in Wales was that they could attack the Labour Assembly Government  over the NHS.

Can anyone point to Labours stewardship of the Assembly and claim they were inspired by a radical progressive government?

Mind you it seems this is the last thing Kim Howells wants.
It seems Howells believes that doing a virtually nothing in your tenure and not seeking the powers to make real change is doing a god job.

If Labour follows Howells analysis they may regain power but will be no difrent from the Tories.

Oh that's right they already are.

Sunday 24 May 2015

The "Plain People of Ireland" say yes to equality

It was a remarkable day in the Republic of Ireland as it became the first country in the World to  vote for the legalisation of Gay Marriages by public affirmation through a referendum

There has been a tendency of Liberal minded people in the UK to shake their heads at Ireland branding it Social Conservative and feeling it was still under the sway of the Catholic Church.

All this has changed . The opinion pols had suggested a Win by a large margin but I suspect there was a fair bit of anguish among IA supporters that people in favour of Gay Marriages  would not bother to vote .

But the high turn out saw an overwhelming turn out  and it not often Cai on Blog Menai  gets things wrong but  he wrote beforehand
You can be absolutely sure that Donegal North East had voted No when the votes are counted tomorrow - even if it is every other constituency in the state have voted Yes. The constituency is very conservative and vote against any relaxation of the Catholic ethos Republic - without exception. Most West constituencies with the same trend, as well as the rural constituencies in the gut of the country. You can also be sure that affluent constituencies, urban as Dublin or Dun Laoghaire South East voted Ia. They are very liberal constituencies.  
I imagine that Cai will be delighted to have proven wrong  

It could be that the first time that we saw a schismatic change in  attitudes  when On 20 July, 2011 Taoiseach  Edna Kenny condemned the Vatican for its role in the scandal,On 20 July, Kenny condemned the Vatican[85] for its role in the scandal,  obstructing the investigation was a serious infringement upon the sovereignty of Ireland and that the scandal revealed "the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day".[He added that "the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again".[

Kenny's attack on the Vatican was unprecedented by a high-level official in Ireland. The speech was widely regarded as extraordinary, with the Daily Mailcommenting that the attack was "the first time that Ireland's Parliament has publicly castigated the Vatican instead of local church leaders during the country's 17 years of paedophile-priest scandals".The Guardian remarked that " the political classes have...lost their fear, namely of the once almighty Roman Catholic church. stating that the Church's role in obstructing the investigation was a serious infringement upon the sovereignty of Ireland and that the scandal revealed "the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day".He added that "the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again".[
Kenny's attack on the Vatican was unprecedented by a high-level official in Ireland. The speech was widely regarded as extraordinary, with the Daily Mailcommenting that the attack was "the first time that Ireland's Parliament has publicly castigated the Vatican instead of local church leaders during the country's 17 years of paedophile-priest scandals".[88] The Guardian remarked that " the political classes have...lost their fear, namely of the once almighty Roman Catholic church.
But it would be wrong to assume that this is just a reaction to Scandals within the Catholic Church . It is an indication that among young people especially attitudes have changed  and now it can claim  to be a progressive Liberal Nation . 

Ireland has proved that it is now a leading liberal European Nation in which by voting as they did on Friday has proved that the idea of Gay Marriages is not just  that of the Political elite but that of the people.

I wonder in the UK an especially Wales whether we would support  such a measure not only through opinion polls but also by actually turning out to vote.
Because maybe it was the Turnout higher than some recent General Elections that emphasised the  sheer victory for the IA side 
This has been one of the greatest votes for equality  ever and I salute the "Plain People of Ireland" in their overwhelming  Yes.

Saturday 23 May 2015

A early by election in Orkney and Shetland[ anyone.

Former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael  may make History as the quickest MP to resign in a new parliament  due to a scandal.
 There have been calls for him  to consider his position as an MP after he admitted being behind the leak of a memo ahead of the general election.
The leak suggested the Scottish first minister wanted David Cameron to remain as prime minister.
Mr Carmichael said it was an error of judgement and he accepted "the details of the account are not correct".
First Minister Nicola  Sturgeon said it had been a "blatant election dirty trick".
The supposedly  confidential memo was published by the Daily Telegraph on 3 April as the general election campaign got under way.
It was written by a civil servant in the Scotland Office and claimed Ms Sturgeon told the French Ambassador to the UK, Sylvie Bermann, that she would prefer Mr Cameron, the leader of the Conservatives, to remain as prime minister.
The memo also claimed Ms Sturgeon said that Ed Miliband, who was then Labour's leader, was not prime minister material.
The official cabinet office inquiry into the leaking of the memo said Mr Carmichael's former special adviser Euan Roddin gave the details to the Daily Telegraph - but he had Mr Carmichael's permission to do so.
Mr Carmichael said, while he had not seen the document before it was published by the newspaper, he was "aware of its content and agreed that my special adviser should make it public".
The Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland also accepted "full responsibility for the publication". wrote a rather terse leter of apology.

We can only speculate whether if it was if it had been a Tory Minister who was stil in the Cabinet or if Mr Carmichael had remained in a coalition  the truth  would have come out out?
Speaking to the BBC, Carmichael said:
 “It was something that I could have stopped and very much should have stopped. That was an error of judgment on my part, I deeply regret it, and for the consequences of that error of judgment, I’ve apologised to the first minister and to the French ambassador.“If I were still a cabinet minister at this point, I would tender my resignation; obviously the Liberal Democrats are no longer in government, so I’ve not. But I have said to the cabinet secretary that I will not accept the ministerial severance payment that is normally offered to ministers when they leave office.”
Losing their severance pay will cost Carmichael £16,876, and Roddin at least £15,500.
But should he lose his seat . He has certainly lost a great deal cod credibility and it could be argued that his real crime was not so much thew dirty tricks as lying about it and attempting to shift the Blame elsewhere.

If he did resign his seat then there would be a Byelection in the sole Scotish Liberal Democrat seat of Orkney and Shetland
General Election 2015: Orkney and Shetland[5][6][7]
Liberal DemocratsAlistair Carmichael9,40741.4−20.6
SNPDanus Skene8,59037.8+27.2
ConservativeDonald Cameron2,0258.9−1.6
LabourGerry McGarvey1,6247.1−3.5
UKIPRobert Smith1,0824.8−1.6
Liberal Democrats holdSwing−23.9
Could one of the defeated Scottish LibDems  be considering a return to Westminster  via a by election here 
The seat is along standing LIberal stronghold  once held by Jo Grimond  who was party leader 1956–1967 and who when asked where the nearest Railway station to his home was replied Bergen (Norway
General Election 2010: Orkney and Shetland[8][9][10][11]
Liberal DemocratsAlistair Carmichael11,98962.0+10.5
LabourMark Cooper2,06110.7−3.5
SNPJohn Mowat2,04210.6+0.3
ConservativeFrank Nairn2,03210.5−2.8
UKIPRobert Smith1,2226.3+3.9
Liberal Democrats holdSwing+7.0
A byelection will not be a sure victory for the SNP  so I wonder if another former Leader from the Highlands and Islands could be thinking of a spectacular come back?