Ping! No, not the latest sound of the dreaded test and trace app. An email has arrived in Steerpike's inbox, subject line: 'HANVEY CALLS FOR “UNITED FRONT” TO DEFEAT DRACONIAN POWERS.' It is of course the latest dispatch from Scotland's little-loved sixth party, Alba, Holyrood's home for the dispossessed and the never-possessed. Intrigued, Mr S ploughed his way through the reams of impenetrable copy to learn of the latest masterstroke from Alex Salmond's anti-SNP vehicle.
In tones more fitting for a Braveheart remake, it details how Alba MP Neale Hanvey has written to his parliamentary colleagues in Westminster, urging them to join the fight against powers to limit protest at the Scottish Parliament. It lists Hanvey, a regular fixture of antisemitism rows, as having written to Ian Blackford, Wendy Chamberlain, Ian Murray and 'the former Conservative Cabinet Minister David Davies.'
It seems that Hanvey has managed to confuse Davies, the member for Monmouth, with his similarly named English colleague David Davis. Davies is a current Wales Office minister while Davis is the former DexEU secretary, willing to take up Alex Salmond's case against the Scottish government earlier this year. No word yet as to whether the Welshman is happy to receive a retrospective promotion at the hands of Alba, but it's worth reflecting on the letter his baffled will have received from Hanvey today. According to the press release it proclaims:
“'I know from your long and distinguished public service that these are freedoms which you cherish and I am mindful of your own championing of civil liberties and of your previous stated position that the powers exercised by the state against the citizen can amount to the 'illusory pursuit of an unobtainable security'.'
That 'illusory pursuit of an unobtainable security' quote is, obviously, one David Davis has used in the past rather than Davies. Let's hope the misaddressed letter is the last time an Alba member is found to have given someone unwanted attention...