Michael Moore has been one of the few oases of intelligent political life in what is too often the overheated 360 degree strut-fest for and against Scottish independence.
Saying from the outset that he is himself a federalist, Moore fenced off personal territory that was a sort of linkspan to the SNP.
Cool, rational, focused, strategic and not given to gestural politics, Moore was able to build a relationship with SNP Depute First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon which worked to the advantage of Scotland.
He never needed to bang tables, stomp out, flounce, threaten and storm to get his way – and he and the Depute FM seemed amicable in each others company during negotiations.
He got what needed to be got in the agreement over the referendum question and he did it in a thoughtfully considerative manner.
Anyone could listen to Moore, never the ranter of the given political script; and Moore was himself a listener.
He also represented a border constituency, the frontline area in a potentially independent Scotland and a voice that needs to be heard m0re to focus minds on both sides as the cattle rustling goes on, with each stealing the other’s best stock lines in the debate.
Only a cliched political intelligence could imagine that this ‘debate’ will be enhanced by swopping one of the few points of calm but firm rationality for the politics of the club and the barricade that the bruising Carmichael – hitherto only deployable in the Whips’ Office – exemplifies.
Set this retrograde reshuffle alongside Ed Milliband’s parallel elevation to Labour opposition office of Gloria de Piero, Tony Blair’s recruitment of TV totty, whose instinctive gravitas led her to totter along Whtehall in a sleeveless dress [in October] in her introduction to the public in her new role.
Politics? Back to the mating displays of the cave.