Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Language, dear boy!

Nice to see the Scottish Parliament back in session today, with the First Minister's announcement of the legislative agenda for the coming session making all the headlines.

It was a good performance by the FM, and with Cathy Jamieson & Tavish Scott leading for their respective parties, only Annabel Goldie remained as opposition leader from the previous term. All performed fairly credibly.

While it will be the legislative agenda that will draw headlines elsewhere, I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before. While Labour continue to refer to the "Scottish Executive" and frame questions in that format, Conservative Deputy Leader Murdo Fraser (pictured in his somewhat younger days above) continually referred to the "Scottish Government". This, I am assured by others, is simply a reflection of the fact that the entity has changed its name - the Tories don't get bogged down with "trivialities" - it's the bread and butter issues they focus on.

Which is a fair-ish point. However, what interested me is that, on a couple of occasions, he referred to the Scottish Government simply as "the Government". Am I reading too much into this if I suggest that the Scottish Conservatives are now recognising the Scottish Government as THE preeminent executive operating in Scotland? Or am I just hoping that is the case?

It wouldn't be the first time that Murdo Fraser suggested a "break-away" from the rest of the UK...


Anonymous,  3 September 2008 at 15:16  

Yes, you're reading far too much into it. The nationalists are pretty-much alone in thinking that the nomenclature has any particular significance. Scottish executive, Scottish government, Holyrood administration - what does it really matter?

But on a practical level: apart from the cost, the main downside of the rebrand was the potential confusion it created with the Westminster government when the "Scottish" was dropped. Evidently you have political reasons to think of that as an upside.

Malc 3 September 2008 at 15:50  

I shoudl have put a third option there for our "taking me so seriously unionist chums":

"OR am I just taking the p*ss?"

Which I think, we can agree, is most likely the case.

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