A Scottish Minister in the soi-disant ‘government’ of Scotland has been forced to shed a £30k holding in Iberdrola-ScottishPower. Stewart Stevenson is the minister responsible for drawing up Scotland’s targets on renewable energy and most of us would have thought it blindingly obvious that those two facts were utterly incompatible, given Scottish Power’s rather obvious role in the provision of energy to Scotland. Plainly Mr. Stevenson did not think that such a conflict existed and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the Stock Market yesterday to dispose of his shares, which reluctance will tell you pretty well all you need to know about his judgement and sense of propriety.

The Scotsman has fingered him (here and here) very nicely.

What is interesting is that Alex Salmond seems to have had to spend most of yesterday in ‘negotiating’ with this individual as to this particularly obvious conflict of interest. Some leadership, some authority is thus shown by Mr. Salmond! I would have thought that a simple “Sell by close of business today or you’re fired” would have sufficed.

By the by, the determined way in which this individual sought to hang on to his shares is interesting: one could be forgiven for thinking that such determination tells us a little bit about Scottish Power’s future prospects in Scotland.