Martin Hannan: Labour need their Ed examined

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It may have taken place in Glasgow, but the idiotic food bank stunt by Ed Miliband last week has lessons for Edinburgh and every other part of Scotland. Labour’s leader clearly has no idea about the Scots. Neither did Margaret Thatcher, but she was not overtly insulting.

You’ll recall that Miliband attended a swanky dinner to raise funds for his fast-deteriorating party and sent out a bag of supposedly “Scottish” produce to the people who organise Glasgow’s food banks.

What a foul and stinking hypocrite Miliband is. He even used his donation to make a political point on behalf of the Better Together campaign – the tins of soup were by Baxter’s and Tunnock’s teacakes were prominent in the bag.

SNP members and Yes campaigners like myself will need no reminding that Audrey Baxter and Boyd Tunnock were two of the main business people to promote the Unionist cause at the referendum.

Which idiotic cretins in the Scottish Branch Office of the Labour Party dreamed up that idea? You can just hear them thinking – “Let’s make Ed look caring and compassionate and give the Nats a wee reminder that we won.” Except that the stunt has backfired hugely and across Scotland, Miliband is seen as a complete numpty.

If Miliband really was trying to promote Scottish produce, why could he not have visited a local market as I did at the weekend and bought, for example, succulent Mossdale Beef and Stichill Jerseys’ superb dairy produce. But it wasn’t to do with Scottish goods at all – the rest of the bag contained Kit-Kats, Nescafe and Quaker Oats, no doubt so the poor people visiting the food bank could have their porridge of a morning.

You might think that at least Miliband, below, was trying to assuage his conscience. Forget it – he clearly doesn’t have one. This, after all, is the creep that stabbed his own brother David in the back to gain the Labour leadership.

Miliband is without a doubt the worst leader of the Labour Party yet. He is nothing more than a jumped-up student politician whose sole experience of real work was a short spell as a researcher on a Channel 4 political programme and some teaching of economics before he carpet-bagged his way into his Doncaster North seat in 2005.

In short, he is the exemplar of that breed of ignorant self-obsessed full-time politician that pollutes the Westminster oligarchy. You would think that at the age of 44 and with 28 years of politicking behind him – he started out as an intern in Tony Benn’s office at the age of 16 – he might have picked up some sort of basic idea about politics, i.e don’t insult the Scots as your party needs them to be elected.

He certainly should know about Scotland – don’t forget that while working as a special adviser to then chancellor Gordon Brown he was caught working for the Labour Party in Scotland in 1999 and had to temporarily resign his civil service position. Yet he does not have a clue about us.

The polls at the weekend show just how badly Labour is faring in Scotland, where Miliband is largely detested. If the so-called “People’s Party” – what a joke that is – wants any chance of winning the general election next May, they must dump Miliband now.

It’s time to park barmy buses ban

Having once worked in the tourism industry, albeit briefly, I learned this – unless you go out of your way to meet a visitor’s needs, they will simply go elsewhere.

That’s why I think the ban on private tour buses from part of Princes Street is a big mistake.

Americans, for example, are used to being dropped right at the hotel door, and not have to hump their cases for even a few dozen yards.

Edinburgh has been voted the third most welcoming city in the world. This kind of arbitrary action by

the council could see us lose that accolade.

At the very least, there must be

provision for elderly and disabled people to alight at their hotels.

GREEN BELT PUT ON RED ALERT

Seems I upset people with my call for some of the designated business areas in the green belt out west to be turned over to housing. The alternative is large-scale developments round Cammo, Currie and Balerno. My idea’s better.

Curry favour at the market

AS regular readers know, I like to praise good service and fine food. That’s why I am begging Rashed Ghani, the Lanarkshire-based chef behind the Rice n Spicy range of Punjabi food to consider trading at the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. His pre-made curries are to die for. Please come to Edinburgh!

Alistair’s legacy won’t reflect his hard work as MP

THE news that Alistair Darling is to stand down at the general election is hardly unexpected. As chancellor, he presided over the banking crisis and the subsequent recession, and as Better Together chief he nearly blew the cause of saving the Union.

That’s what he will be remembered for. Yet I know that he has never missed a day’s work in 27 years and counting as an MP, and that he served the Central and Soouth-West constituencies assiduously, which is why he kept getting elected.

This SNP member would genuinely like to thank him for his service to the people of Edinburgh.