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Saturday, 4 April 2015

SNP Backs David Cameron

I was startled to read the Daily Telegraph scoop this morning.  According to a leaked memo, Nicola Sturgeon is secretly rooting for David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister.  While, the SNP preference for the Tories over Labour is obvious to people who actually follow their strategy, it will come as a big shock to some "progressive" people South of the Border.

The memo is written by a UK Civil Servant based on what French diplomatic sources told him/her of conversations between Nicola Sturgeon and French diplomats.  It is apparently standard protocol for such reports to be passed to the UK government.  It is not standard practice for such documents to be leaked to the newspapers, and Nicola Sturgeon is now denying the remarks were made, as (rather more weakly) are the French diplomats.

Cato the Elder had a good rule of thumb for such enquiries, which was to ask: Who Benefits?

The SNP categorical denials don't convince me since it seems very obvious that they want to stop Labour forming a government.  Why else ask people in England to vote Green, and Welsh voters to go for the Welsh Nats.  They also have a long record of denials that turn out to be false statements on legal advice to the EU, the Oil price, the currency and so on.  They have used up what credibility they have.

I imagine the French diplomats are hugely embarrassed to be dragged into an election campaign in their host country, but they had no reason to misinform the UK Civil Service, or to assume the communication would be leaked.  They do now have good reason to try to distance themselves from the whole thing, as it is career threatening for any diplomat to be anywhere near this.

I can't see why the UK Civil Servant who wrote the memo should have wanted to include misinformation.  I imagine s/he is cringing under a desk at the moment wondering what is going to happen.

In terms of who leaked it.  I don't see it as being either the SNP or the Tories since their effective alliance cannot be openly acknowledged by its very nature.  It can't be Labour, because how would they get it?  If I were heading the Leak Enquiry, I would be visiting the Liberal Democrat SoS for Scotland office, as it seems most likely to help the Liberal Democrats.

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