David Cairns

DAVID Cairns is one of my closest friends in politics. He was also one of the most effective ministers I have ever known – astute judgment, common sense by the bucketful, impressive political instinct and extremely sharp and witty at the despatch box. He is also fiercely loyal; he’s never voted against the government or criticised it publicly.

I know that he loved being a minister, that he regarded it as an immense privilege, which of course it is.

And I know that until this morning he had no intention of resigning. But being named this morning by The Daily Telegraph as the Minister of State who was the subject of News 24‘s report last night forced his hand.

When he says he is not part of a wider conspiracy to topple the prime minister, he is telling the truth.

David’s decision was one he reached with a huge amount of regret and he will be devastated. But it was also a decision based on honesty and principle and he deserves respect for what he has done, even from those of us who would have preferred him not to follow this particular course of action.



Filed under Labour, Media

16 responses to “David Cairns

  1. Nick from Munich

    I admire his decision to resign and its a pity that the incompetent who leads the government hasn’t got the same amount of courage and for the sake of the country hands his own resignation in.

  2. Politico

    He seems about the only one of your lot with the guts to do something.

    Get rid of the rot and we will be in a winnable position. Keep him and we are doomed.

  3. Chris

    “astute judgment” err I dont call making the Tory press’ day ‘astute judgment’ I call it shameful.

  4. You are right, Tom in what you say about the matter of his resignation, David was succint and reserved by all accounts.

    I think you would be surprised to note, however, that there really is a lot of anger towards David since he became a Minister, in his constituency. He has been seen as neglecting his duties, and his hands on role in the Glasgow East by election, angered many in Greenock, who thought they were placed down David’s priority list, furthering the career of Curran, not to mention his own, being seen as higher up the list.

  5. John

    It is a pity more Ministers don’t have the same level of courage and decency as this man.

  6. Chris

    What rubbish John, all this stuff does is feed the Tory press. These shameful people are doing the work of the Tories. No government will win divided, unity is what is needed.

  7. jim

    Every single Scottish New Labour MP (with ONE exception only – and it wasn’t DC) nominated Gordon Brown for leader only a year or so ago. Indeed, in Scotland Cairns led the chorus of acclamation.

    And now he stabs him in the back.

    What a rat.

    New Labour are without principle (what exactly are “values” anyway?), integrity or purpose. That’s what happens when you revise your core raison d’etre out of existence and exchange conviction for Mammon.

  8. Well said Tom, I thought you put that very well.

    Hang in there for Conference, a splintered Labour party serves noone after all…

  9. Brian

    Yes, I think David Cairns took a hell of a beating as a result of the Glasgow East bi-election, firstly for being seen quite publicly as the home of Labours anti-SNP campaigning (can’t blame him as its currently Labour North-British branch policy) and the unfavorable news coverage surrounding the result itself where he was posted to BBC1 in the prime slot.

    Arguably to restore some credibility to his position before the next election he simply had to jump overboard the SS Broon.

  10. richard

    I find it staggering that anyone now believes that Gordon’s position is rescuable. He’s done for, he was done for the day he funked holding a General Election and then lied about why.

    He’s leading you over the abyss and like mindless lemmings you and your Labour colleagues are following him.

  11. I can’t help feeling that Labour are now allowing us to drift straight into a Ever-Tory-England and Independent-SNP-Scotland.

    Get your party sorted and start leading the country through the worst recession in 60 years – and that doesn’t mean giving tax breaks to the bunch of bankers who’ve caused the problem, but instead means investing in sustainable long-term industry.

  12. reidcollins

    Another Nat Basher bites the dust and a lacklustre fighting force fshadow cabinet announced here in Scotalnd. Save Us Tom!!!

  13. richard

    I was rather taken with the theory that Gordon was recruited at university as an SNP “sleeper-agent”, tasked with infiltrating the Labour party, pushing for devolution and then making the party so unpopular in Scotland the SNP could win a referendum.

    Let’s face it, the pieces all fit…

  14. Michael St George

    So David Cairns, as late as this morning, had no intention of resigning, but his hand was forced because of the report in the Telegraph?

    Tom, as a new convert to your blog, I enjoy reading it, but please – pull the other one. All he would have had to do was deny it, and make the Telegraph (not to mention all the predictions on the blogosphere) look silly.

    Apart from anything else, could you explain why, when there has been devolution to Holyrood, there still exists a Scottish Office at Westminster at all? Ignoring the immediate political context, it’s hardly a government-paralysing resignation, is it – rather like poets going on strike.

  15. Johnny Norfolk

    Its all ending in tears. What we realy need is a General Election for the people to decide who they want to lead us. Its all far to much ‘in house’ and Labour treating us like nothing just needs to come to an end. I remember Blair when he first came to power telling all the new MPs that they should never forget who put them in power. Well he did and so has the party. We just count for nothing.

  16. Johnny Norfolk

    Oh Tom I note you blame the DT. and say nothing of the Downing Street leak that gave the story to the DT.

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