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What's in a name?

Brian Taylor | 11:58 UK time, Monday, 3 September 2007

In the early days of Holyrood, we members of the wicked media mostly divided our time between two tasks - highlighting the savage cost of the building and trying to gain access to the Parliamentary boozer.

Said hostelry was originally open to MSPs only. But wisdom prevailed and, after a lengthy campaign, the media were admitted.

(By “wisdom”, I mean the realisation that the bar’s takings would be enhanced substantially by letting in the hacks.)

Anyway, the bar is now unofficially called The White Heather Club. Not, sadly, in tribute to the magnificent TV series of that name. Rather, the billing commemorates a previous occasion when political nomenclature was salient.

You’ll recall that Henry McLeish’s administration floated the notion of being described as “the Scottish Government" - rather than “the Scottish Executive”.

Asked to comment, one unnamed MP told a newspaper: “They can call themselves the White Heather Club if they want but they will never be the Scottish Government.”

Rather good, isn’t it? Neatly insulting, containing the implicit suggestion that Holyrood is somehow parochial. (Of course, the speaker could be a huge fan of the WHC and the remark could be the highest praise. No, I don’t think so either.)

Which brings us to today. Alex Salmond, apparently, now heads the “Scottish Government”, not the executive. The name is to be changed on headed notepaper and public buildings.

And for why? According to research, conducted for the executive/government/White Heather Club, folk were generally unable to “differentiate the work of the Scottish Executive from other UK and Scottish governmental bodies (including Scottish Parliament, Whitehall, Westminster and local government”.

Was that perhaps because they saw all these bodies as an amorphous, lumpen “them”, ruining their lives and pinching their money in taxation?

Only a thought - but not one that commended itself to A.Salmond. He concluded that the term "executive" must be replaced.

Mr Salmond also cites Henry McLeish’s autobiography in which HM disclosed that Tony Blair was “not in the least bothered” by the phrase “Scottish Government”.

Again, that might have simply meant that Mr Blair was at his sunniest when he wasn’t bothered by Scotland in the least. But no matter.

So what’s this all about? Well, partly it’s grandstanding by Mr Salmond, upping the status of his administration. Partly, it’s a bone thrown to his own party. We can’t give you independence, for now, but we can call ourselves a government.

Mostly, though, it’s common sense. Alex Salmond heads a government. For most purposes, Scotland’s devolved, domestic government.

People grasp the concept. You can moan about a government, you can kick it out of power. “Executive” doesn’t do it, doesn’t stir the blood.

Legally, under the Scotland Act, the title is still “Scottish Executive”. That phrase won’t vanish at the stroke of the first minister’s pen.

What matters is not what they are called, but what they do. They can call themselves the . . . no, let’s not go there.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 12:30 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Angie Todd wrote:

Even if total power might still only be an 'aspiration' the name "Scottish Government" sounds much more serious, responsible and dignified than "Scottish Executive", and, very importantly seems to immediately add that something which 'rejoins' us to our 'history'.

  • 2.
  • At 12:38 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Al Stewart wrote:

"The overwhealming majority of people don't know what executive meant"! Does it really matter we still have the same monkeys making the same decisions in the same building under a different title! Surely it is the content and quality of the decisions from the "building" that counts and not the title!

  • 3.
  • At 12:38 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Joanna Marshall wrote:

"Government" makes more sense than "Executive", which most people probably associate more with business than government. However, I would rather not pay for literal accuracy, nor subsidise narrow vocabularies. Spend the money on schools! More language teachers required. (I was going to say English teachers, but thought the better of it . . .)

  • 4.
  • At 12:43 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Scamp wrote:

It's just something less to do when Scotland does become independent. A good piece of forward thinking if you ask me.

  • 5.
  • At 01:09 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Ewen McPherson wrote:

Well, the important thing (and this needs to be heavily underlined for the benefit of one W. Alexander,of this parish, soon-to-be-anointed "Labour Leader"), is that whether or not it is the Scottish Government, the Scottish Executive or even Scottish Bluebells (showing my age there !)

IS THAT IT IS SCOTTISH

And not merely some offshoot that could be run remotely from Brother Doug's desk whilst he gets ready for that October 16th Date to con middle Engerland into Four More Glorious Years, or from Cuddly Harmless Des's briefcase in his free minutes (thanking himself that he's only dodging verbal flak and not the real sort that the troops are facing "supporting democracy" in the lands to the East.)

To quote...

"The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet."

Or, in other words,

"It's comin' yet, for a' that"

  • 6.
  • At 01:18 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

even if the parliment does lack the powers of a real goverment i think this rebranding makes future calls for power transfer from westminster somehow more difficult to argue against.

refusing an "executive" puts to mind a table full of company brown nosers..."goverment" on the other hand resonates with much more authority.

  • 7.
  • At 01:19 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Louise wrote:

What’s in a name you ask Brian? The answer absolutely everything. Your name describes who you are and what you do. The SNP are now the government of Scotland if the name above the door is to be believed. As to what they do. What they are doing is just what it says on the tin.
Governing Scotland and very successfully at that.

  • 8.
  • At 01:23 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • AM wrote:

I'd say the change is more about political games than actually running the country. I wonder if politicians can ever switch off?

  • 9.
  • At 01:59 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Scotsman wrote:

The idiocy was calling it Scottish Executive in the first place.

  • 10.
  • At 02:26 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Brian W wrote:

Oh my goodness! A Scottish leader who actually does lead, and sensibly at that! A government which keeps its promises, and thinks to do the best for Scotland first - I think I will vote for them! And yes - they are the government, and they are not ashamed to call a spade a spade. More please!

  • 11.
  • At 02:31 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

Number 9 you said it,

Obviously if there is nothing in a name then it should have been the Scottish Government in the first place. As for grandstanding, well ok there is a little bit of that but executive just sounded like a lame horse discussing lame ideas with lame powers. I grant you that the SNP executive/government has no more powers in Scotland than the last lot did, but it seems to me they have found a way to govern more effectively with the powers theyve got (if Swinney and co have got their numbers right and we dont spend the rest of our lives paying for their decisions). It is refreshing to see how the new goverment opperates, hopefully this will lead to an energising of the whole political scene in scotland although I think theres still alot of dead wood which needs to be lopped off in the opposition parties before we see a far more ambitious scottish parliament in the whole.

  • 12.
  • At 02:36 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • PMK wrote:

Do not be so sure Brian that changing the name is a bone thrown to the SNP's own people. I know many in favour of independence who point-blank refuse to call the Executive the "Scottish Government" as it suggests that half of what must be achieved already is, and that it may be possible to have a truly Scottish Government within the Union.
They think - with some justification - that it facilitates a case for fiscal federalism or some such scheme.

  • 13.
  • At 02:43 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • EC wrote:

How can such a unnecessary expense be justified? Surely the money required to change the signs, etc would be better used to actually educate the population on what the Executive does?
I suppose the only blessing in this is that the SNP are wasting their time on such trivial matters, rather than getting on with ruining the country.

  • 14.
  • At 03:01 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

Agree wholeheartedly with the move. "Executive" is a reminder that devolution is still a limited method of self-government with central control remaining with London. I am hopeful that the next change in vocabulary will be from "First-minister" to "Prime-Minister" of an independent Scotland.

  • 15.
  • At 03:03 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Dave "Boy" wrote:

Come on SNP.

Do something difficult for a change, instead of playing to the galleries.

  • 16.
  • At 03:19 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

I think the point and purpose of the name change is clear from the comments already made here - a number of people seem to think the Executive (or 'Government' as it is now called) is the Scottish Parliament. It's not. It's no more the Scottish Parliament than the UK Government is the UK Parliament. Two completely different bodies - the executive and the legislature. The renaming may go someway to making this a bit clearer - but I doubt it! Now we'll just have people mixing up the Government with the Parliament rather than the Executive.

  • 17.
  • At 03:20 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Derick Fae Yell wrote:

An Executive implements decisions made by others

A Government makes the decisions

  • 18.
  • At 03:29 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • James in Japan wrote:

What kind of Nationalist would Salmond be if he didn't change this name? The word "Executive" evokes a meaning of being subordinate and inferior to a government. Is this change part of the process where Salmond is chipping stealthily towards independence? Again, what kind of Nationalist would Salmond be if he didn't take this path? The namge change will cost about 100,000 pounds Surely this change will be financed by the taxpayer? Yes, but this is money well spent. The cost to rid the Scottish government if an inferior name is money well spent. As a poster commented on another web forum yesterday, the price of the name change is less than the cost of Derry Irvine's curtains. Bring on the government. Hmmm maybe the term "Prime Minister of Scotland" should replace the term "First Minister". What's in a name? Well if you ask any advertising agency they will tell you in no uncertain terms the value of a correct name.

  • 19.
  • At 03:38 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • EricH wrote:

The views expressed so far are all too inward looking, is it not more likely that this change is not aimed at us locals, except those that dare to look beyond their own limitations, but more to grab the attention of the world at large. An executive is only a fleeting concept, a government is the definitive article.

  • 20.
  • At 04:05 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Matt McLaughlin wrote:

I'm not really bothered what they call themselves - what matters is how they (the politicians) govern over the issues that are within their control.

That said this is a re branding exercise that is without doubt politically motivated by the SNP.

I wonder how much it has cost?

Funny how we've not heard a Dickie Bird from Salmond on Iraq or Nuclear Weapons since he won his election.

Scottish Government - more like a badly run Scottish Council.

  • 21.
  • At 04:07 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • JohnMcDonald wrote:

The term "Scottish Executive" was probably dreamt up by some well-meaning civil servant as an option for his Labour master. The Labour minister understood that names mean a great deal and by using "Government" he would be giving out all the wrong messages.

Just as Mr Salmond perceives the message to be just as powerful but from his perspective the message is just right.

  • 22.
  • At 04:13 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

The reasons for this change are no more or less than to attach yet more emotional baggage to what should be a sedate and sterile business of government. Unsurprising, considering that's what Salmond's ideology relies upon.

To a lesser extent, McConnell tried and failed at the same trick: hoist a Scottish standard from everything you do and hope that the herd somehow follow.

  • 23.
  • At 04:17 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

Number 9 you said it,

Obviously if there is nothing in a name then it should have been the Scottish Government in the first place. As for grandstanding, well ok there is a little bit of that but executive just sounded like a lame horse discussing lame ideas with lame powers. I grant you that the SNP executive/government has no more powers in Scotland than the last lot did, but it seems to me they have found a way to govern more effectively with the powers theyve got (if Swinney and co have got their numbers right and we dont spend the rest of our lives paying for their decisions). It is refreshing to see how the new goverment opperates, hopefully this will lead to an energising of the whole political scene in scotland although I think theres still alot of dead wood which needs to be lopped off in the opposition parties before we see a far more ambitious scottish parliament in the whole.

  • 24.
  • At 04:54 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Bruce wrote:

Agree with most that's been said here. The last point, yes, change the wimpy 'First Minister' tag to something more robust. It sounds like the holder should wear a 1st Prize rosette and has no resonance at all.

Whether or not one is a Scots nationalist, we can all share the understanding of what our government is, and title's mean a lot in this world.

  • 25.
  • At 04:57 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • John Ramsay wrote:

I thought the Parliament were the politicians, and the Executive their functionaries. A "Government" is formed by the party "in Power". as we don't seem to have a party capable of effectively wielding any power (other than changing letterheads), it's all a bit of pointless posturing, isn't it? Why do we say "Holyrood" and not "the Houses of Parliament" (maybe to save confusing the posties with that other big building in London). Come Alex, do something. You're beginning to make me long for an election.

  • 26.
  • At 05:24 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • bob stevenson wrote:

I think this is another stroke of genius from Alex Salmond, and very welcome. Who would now dare to reverse this without seeming to degrade Scotland.
It makes a simple yet very powerful statement and will sow seeds in many minds.
The term executive to me implies a subservient, non-thinking body, executing the orders of a superior. It probably aptly described the previous incumbents.

  • 27.
  • At 05:50 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Eric wrote:

I think it's a shame most people didn't know what the word "executive" meant, given the supposed importance of separation of powers in a democratic goverment.

There's always been a Scottish judicial system. So, it made sense that devolved Scottish government should comprise the Scottish judiciary, Scottish legislature (the new parliament) and Scottish Executive (as it was initially "rebranded").

Seen from this context, the new "rebranding" increases confusion.

  • 28.
  • At 06:00 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • craig wrote:

Westminster/Scottish Executive is perhaps more to the liking of some,however let me remind you of an old Scottish saying:

They that dance must pay the fiddler.

Well done Alex Salmond.

  • 29.
  • At 06:33 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Neil MacKinnon wrote:

You can have all the symbolism you want, endless renditions of "A man's a man", kilts galore, biligualism, petty distancing from Westminster and this renaming but the litmus test of devolution should be "is life in Scotland being made better". The media should be reporting on this test and holding the government/administration/junta/cabal/comedy circus or whatever they want to call themselves to account.

  • 30.
  • At 07:23 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Pook wrote:

The much less powerful administration of the Welsh Assembly, though consistantly led Welsh Labour, has had no problem going under the name of the 'Welsh Assembly Government' or WAG for short. Call a spade a spade - the Scottish 'Executive' governs, so why not Scottish Government?

Millions are spent on branding by every major company in the world. Why? Because they consider it to be extremely important to their image and their sales.

First Minister of the Scottish Executive was devised to downplay the concept of a Government separate from Westminster.

Today we have taken the first step, soon we will take the next step, i.e. Prime Minister and in a few years we will take the ultimate step, despite the best efforts of the Unionist politicians and their allies in the press.

It is exactly the sort of move that Tony Blair advised by Alistair Campbell would make - a meaningless gesture.

I trust that it is Scottish money they are throwing away on this PR stunt.

Bob 24>I think this is another stroke of genius from Alex Salmond, and very welcome. Who would now dare to reverse this without seeming to degrade Scotland.

Whether a move to continue calling the Scottish Executive by its proper name would "degrade Scotland" is irrelevant. The ones who would be causing the "degradation" are those who have implented this piece of pretentious twaddle in the first place.

  • 33.
  • At 08:13 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Leuchars wrote:

Well it seems me be that our esteemed Dundonian has seized his chance to remind folk that some people like to call the executive "The White Heather Club". That should cut them down to size.

And for why?

You work it out.

  • 34.
  • At 08:57 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Joseph wrote:

What a pity, Scottish citizens now arguing over semantics, let me try and assist you all, Scotland is nothing without England, England can move forward perfectly well without Scotland.

Scotland cannot expect or even dream of matching the affluence of our southern neighbours, it is time for Scottish people to understand the hard facts we are nothing but a small insignificent nation without our cousins across the border.

Economically they allow us more back then we put in, Politically they allow us to over represent, do we really want to face a true backlash and allow our idiotic sense of injustice to be thrown back in our faces by the English voters saying AYE let them have total independence?, I for one do not.

So I say to all you bitter and shortminded people look around you and realise that we the Scots get so much more from being a part of the UK then we would ever get from being a independent country.

God help us if the English decide to give up on us, thank god that the majority of Scots do not want Independence.

  • 35.
  • At 09:36 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Concerned Reader wrote:

The name change isn't really important, as has been highlighted.

I tend to agree that the SNP have taken the opportunity to change the name to coincide with the publication of their legislative programme. The worrying thing is that some peole might actually think the SNP have achieved something substantial with this name-change.

What hasn't been mentioned in many (if any, I quickly zone out of all the pro-party comments) is that the UK Parliament remains the actual government of Scotland. A government, the devolved powers do not make. As such. However, both levels are important, but the name-change seems more like an attempt to inflate the importance of Holyrood.


  • 36.
  • At 11:25 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • PF wrote:

The idea that Scottish people didn't know what the Scottish Exectuive was is fairly patronising. Every decision made by the SNP seems to be clouded by the desire to further their own nationalist agenda - a highly cynical approach, since they don't have a popular mandate, and there is no real or strong desire among most Scots for independence.

  • 37.
  • At 06:18 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Adevan wrote:

On a lighter note, but with complete honesty...

I am a Civil Servant and one day my then senior manager was away from his desk and I happened to pick up his phone when it rang. It was marketing call from a mobile phone company trying to sell "our organisation" a corporate contract. The caller assumed we were a private organisation, and quite funnily when I explained that we are the Scottish Government she panicked and hang up!

I guess the re-branding of the devolved government here in Scotland is a step in the right direction...

  • 38.
  • At 08:49 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • john potter wrote:

The Welsh Assembly Governmet is WAG
the Scottis Assembly Government is SAG
need I sxay More

  • 39.
  • At 08:55 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Jamie McTavish wrote:

Intention of unionists from the start was to down play sigificance and importance of Scottish Parliament, hence the confusion to this day of some of the Engish based media, e.g. BBC / ITN / Channel 4 / Channel 5 / SKY, etc refering to Parliament as Assembly.
Things will not change until only government governing Scotland is Scottish Government.

J McTavish

  • 40.
  • At 08:56 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • David Miller wrote:

Unfortunately the SNP are adopting the usual vacuous spin, for a cost of £100k minimum to rebrand the Scottish Executive.
In the meantime nurses and health staff are facing paying £7 per day to park at the Southern General Hospital. Getting their priorities right is what voters will remember.

  • 41.
  • At 09:04 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Peter Wynne Davies wrote:

Forgive an intrusion into Scottish political life from a Welshman, but the 'executive' in Wales has been called the Welsh Assembly Government for some time. Another issue that should affect both Scotland and Wales is the way in which Whitehall civil servants still persist in calling both Scottish and Welsh bodies 'devolved administrations'. Perhaps the real issue about the synergy between Whitehall and Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast is not so much being played out by politicians, but by officials who have consistently resented the changes brought about in 1997.

  • 42.
  • At 09:07 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Frank Murray wrote:

It is of supreme irrelevance what the body is called, of far greater significance is what it actually delivers.

Salmond's people - and I know a few - have been clever though and created a rallying point out of thin air.

This is straight out of the ABc of campaigning, find a polarising issue which forces people to declare "friend" or "foe" then attack your foes for being what it is that will most appeal to first, your base, then your floaters.

Blair used the same move on Section 28, cleverly polarising and then smearing his opponents as "anti-gay". Bush used the same move in his preparations for Iraq, planting 9-11 evidence on his former (secular) ally - Saddam and spicing it up with scary allegations - remember the 45 minutes?

It is basic politics; You disagree with me? Then you must be anti-gay; you disagree with me? Well, you would clearly welcome a chemical attack on your city with 45 minutes notice....you disagree with me? Well, you must be anti-Scottish.

The First Minister may have despised Bush and Blair but he was clearly watching carefully.

First rule of politics: create an enemy and then side with the angels, and be seen to do so.

  • 43.
  • At 09:47 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • john wrote:

does scotland only have a government when the snp is in charge?

  • 44.
  • At 10:10 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Hamilton wrote:

The Scottish Executive sounded like a good name to me as they are the Executive branch of the Scottish Parliament. They are not the government of Scotland, the privilege of that name is and always should be reserved for the leaders of our UK Parliament (or HM Government as they like to be known).

My biggest objection though is not to the pointless rebranding, but to the loss of the Royal coat of arms from the new "brand". If Messrs Salmond and Co are really trying to reach a common ground on independence and do truly wish to see the Queen remain the head of state of an independent Scotland then this action will do nothing to help. Well done Sir, you have just alienated the majority of loyal Scots by this blatant act of republicanism.

Scottish Executive trading as "The Scottish Government", sounds like some kind of fly by night trader.

  • 45.
  • At 10:17 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • j nicholson wrote:

Total waste of money and meaningless as holyrood remains an executive branch of the UK goverment. Perhaps if the SNP had to pay for this sort of thing out of their own pocket we might see some sense in it all. The HEID gets bigger!!!
Its time they concentrated own the main issues and not their egoes

  • 46.
  • At 10:27 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

'Lumpen' is hte German word for lower, not the English, or even Scottish, word for 'lumpy.' One would think th at a political commentator would know what Marx meant by 'lumpenproletariat.'

  • 47.
  • At 10:33 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • mairi macleod wrote:

hi brian, whats in a name,
in my opinion quite a lot, in the first placethe scot.exec. was some sort of put down,it's meant to sound
like a"parish cooncil derogetory.
if acts like a gov. it talks like
a gov.then it IS,so lets have no more downgrading and call a spade a
spade.THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT,well
done to alex for having good ideas.

  • 48.
  • At 11:19 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Ifan wrote:

Even in Wales there's a Welsh Assembly Government and a 'Prif Weinidog' (prime minister) so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about in Scotland.

  • 49.
  • At 11:21 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Derek wrote:

Nice one Alex! I look forward to the day that we English have our own English Government and English Parliament. It won't be long now.
Let's hope that the SNP win a massive number of British Parliamentary seats at the next general election.

  • 50.
  • At 11:40 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

I don't care what they're called. I've seen no change since the most recent bunch got voted in. Whoever 'they' are, all 'they' seem to want to do is meddle in my life, inefficiently, and at great cost to me.

Plus ca change...

At the moment, I'm neither for or against any party, but I want to see this country of ours actually improving, and it doesn't appear to be. Unless someone can enlighten me?

  • 51.
  • At 11:51 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • PMK wrote:

No. 34 - well that was a definitive post there. Since you have baldly stated that Scotland couldn't possibly make it on its own (where's the evidence? - even Wendy's hubby thinks we could!) I will completely change my political outlook and become a unionist. Yes, I can see now that in my younger days (all of a minute ago) I was deluded to trust the economic reality on the ground, the example of others and in democratic ideals such as self-determination and equality.

The one area in which you are correct is that Scotland could not match the influence of England. 50 million to 5 million population: big surprise that! But we could be an awful lot more successful than we are now. You can continue being "the best wee country in the world" if you want but Scots are moving towards the idea of independence in Europe.

Incidentally, when are we letting Ireland, Australia, New Zealand etc back in to our glorious Union? I mean there is no way they could competently administer themselves? Family ties and all!

Think of every country that has left London's orbit - tell me one that wants back in?

  • 52.
  • At 12:18 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • scothighland wrote:

13#
The money spent on changing the brand
wouldn't even make a dent in spending in Scotland.So come up with a better argument please!!!

  • 53.
  • At 12:35 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Sarah wrote:

What a waste of money for a few headlines! when are Salmond and his motley crew going to start and make the real difficult decisions - so far his 'government' have done nothing of real substance only empty gestures - get a grip alex!

  • 54.
  • At 01:31 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Peter Rawlinson-Watkins wrote:

So far all the SNP have done while being in office is kick off a few petty squables with Westminster and now this expensive rebranding. When are they going to get on with the real business of actually getting things done? Or are they hoping that if they do nothing for 4 years then people wont read anything bad in the press about them and vote for them again?

  • 55.
  • At 01:41 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

quote from Chris (46):

"'Lumpen' is hte German word for lower, not the English, or even Scottish, word for 'lumpy.' One would think th at a political commentator would know what Marx meant by 'lumpenproletariat.'"

Wrong. "Lumpen" in German is not 'lower' but 'rags'. People qualified as 'Lumpen'-people are best translated into english as 'riff-raff'...

  • 56.
  • At 02:33 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • davie wrote:

Answer to John No43

Yup ! We only have a Government when the SNP are in charge . So, Y`all better hope they are going to be in charge for a great many years to come !

>Forgive an intrusion into Scottish political life from a Welshman, but the 'executive' in Wales has been called the Welsh Assembly Government for some time. Another issue that should affect both Scotland and Wales is the way in which Whitehall civil servants still persist in calling both Scottish and Welsh bodies 'devolved administrations'.

It is British Political life, not exclusively Scottish - so you are perfectly entitled to comment.

The point is that "devolved administration" is the correct term because that is what they are. Anything else is just spin.

Bearing in mind that “Scottish Government” is purely a (non-legally protected) marketing term being used by the SNP controlled Scottish Executive, I am just as entitled to use it as the are - so I have established a new Scottish Government in the East Midlands.

  • 58.
  • At 09:12 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • PEZ wrote:

As a Civil Servant for the Scottish Executive in Glasgow-I have found it increasingly difficult to explain who and what I work for. Many folk would reply

"thought that was in Edinburgh"

Many people also thought it was one building like a bank.

"oh have they got a branch in Charing Cross"

So when explaining my employment The Scottish Government certainly saves me alot of time when talking to Political zealots.

Is that Selfish?

Joseph (34),
"we are nothing but a small insignificent nation without our cousins across the border."

How's that for self esteem?

I agree it's an important step in beginning to increase the value of the Scottish "brand", and one of the best marketing moves yet. I remember when the British Tourist authorities forbade the Scottish Tourist Board from using Local Hero for marketing purposes.

'Nuff said?

Slainte
ed

  • 60.
  • At 01:24 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Lewis Doccherty wrote:

With the new name change only costing £100,000, i wonder how much i will get offered for owning the following domain names...www.thescottishgovernment.org,www.thescottisggovernment.org.uk and www.thescottishgovernment.co.uk. I would be happy to get in touch with anyone who has a resonable offer

  • 61.
  • At 09:31 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Poppaea wrote:

I thought that the Scottish Parliament was, in effect, the Scottish Government. And that the Scottish Executive was the administrative arm of that Government? So how can the Executive now call itself (in a non-legally binding sense!) the Scottish Government??

Note for Mr Salmond's advisers - the phrase is 'the Scottish Government', not 'The Scottish Government',as some of you keep insisting. Those of us who paid attention at school know why; what a pity that you apparently don't.

The 'new look' is cheap and tacky, and redolent of a town council - still, that would be about the right level, given the SNP's experience of politics up to now, eh? [Cue shrieks of outrage from the usual crew of SNP sycophants who haunt the forums. Yawn.]

  • 62.
  • At 07:22 PM on 10 Feb 2008,
  • T Paul wrote:

To numerous commentators: the Scottish Executive or Government is a subservient body. It is subordinated to the will of the Scottish Parliament. It was conceived with this principle in mind. In that sense, the original 'brand' was more accurate.

On a personal level, it is my personal opinion that the logo and trimmings are vulgar and common to a very high degree. The former use of the (albeit modified) Royal Arms gave an impression of dignity and tradition, and it was certainly more elegant.

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