Douglas Garven Alexander was born in Glasgow in 1967 and grew up in Bishopton, where his father was the local Minister.
He attended Bishopton Primary and Park Mains High in Erskine. Aged fourteen he joined the Labour Party. In 1984, at the age of 17, he won a Scottish Scholarship to attend an international college in Vancouver, Canada, for two years. He returned to Scotland to study Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University. After graduating he began work as a SPAD for Gordon Brown, a position he held for a year.
He was selected for education and training by the British American Project and remains to be a member of the exclusive and secretive political network.
Alexander Emerges From the labour Pack As Blair’s Protegy
Following the 2005 General Election he enjoyed the confidence of Tony Blair and in 2006 he was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport and Scotland. At the time of the upcoming 2007 Holyrood Elections the Labour Government was in crisis. The Iraq invasion and the aftermath. Afghanistan a military and political disaster and Westminster scandals, (cash for honours) requiring Tony Blair to be interviewed by the police, gave warning of a humiliating SNP victory in Scotland.
The SNP lobbied Westminster seeking that the election process, in all respects be transferred to the authority of the Scottish Parliament. This was refused and the duty was subsequently delegated to, “Wee Douglas” who would also run Labour’s electoral campaign in Scotland.
Elections to Holyrood, in 1999 and 2003 had, (preventing voter confusion) used two separate ballot papers for the constituency and regional lists. Alexander and Scottish (Labour) government ministers decided that Local Council Elections would be held at the same time as the parliamentary election and both election selections would be printed on one ballot paper. Civil servants and an independent marketing firm warned that the ballot forms would lead to confusion and a higher-than-average number of rejected votes. The advice was ignored, Alexander and the Governing, (Labour) party claimed their changes would prove to be extremely popular. Civil servants and the, “Electoral Commission” were subsequently silenced.
In the election the SNP won by a single vote. Alexander was hugely praised by Labour Party mandarins since he had almost, “saved the day” for Labour. The elections, were however badly tainted by a chaotic voting process, blamed on the Scottish Office’s design of ballot papers. In excess of 146,000 votes were declared void. The largest in electoral history.
Seventeen MSP’s were elected to Parliament with majorities lower than the number of spoiled ballots in their constituency. There was a public outcry and, “Returning Officers” voiced their discontent about the election process. Wee Alexander, “Scottish Secretary”, the accountable person that organized the elections, stated there would be a statutory review of the election under the auspices of the Labour Party loaded Electoral Commission. The Scottish Electorate was outraged and demanded an independent inquiry. Tony Blair was forced to concede and an inquiry was commissioned.
Following an extensive, lengthy inquiry, an official report submitted by, Ron Gould, (a senior Canadian election official), heavily censured Alexander and the Labour Party stating that ministers in the Labour Scottish Government and at Westminster together with Mr Alexander’s political, “self-interested” moves, (as the Labour Party in Scotland’s election supremo), had abused their, “offices of state” making decisions about the election on “party political interest grounds”, with voters treated as an “after-thought.” So be warned. Alexander and the Labour Party are akin to “snakes in the grass”. They care only for the Party. The voter is a means to an end.
February 2 2007: Douglas Alexander is said to be furious that his attempt to introduce trials for his poll-tax-on-wheels scheme has been derailed by a Downing Street e-petition, which is approaching one and a half million signatures – up 100,000 in one day. http://order-order.com/2007/02/14/douglas-alexander-listens/
July 2007: Douglas Alexander wears girl’s knickers: that’s the response I am tempted to give to his ridiculous speech yesterday in which he said David Cameron was like a pig wearing lipstick. Clearly, it’s the kind of language Mr Alexander understands. Is this really the level of political invective to re-engage the electorate? Surely all it does is invite ridicule and contempt. Over the last few months Labour has attacked David Cameron as a chameleon, a sleazy estate agent (thus alienating around 70,000 estate agents in one go) and now a pig. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose. On the day the Guardian publishes a poll showing the Conservatives at their highest level for 13 years, diddy Duggie Alexander really believes that calling Cameron a pig in lipstick will knock dishy Dave off his perch. http://iaindale.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/douglas-alexander-wears-girls-knickers.html
October 2011: David Abraham’s multi – million-pound business park development at Bowburn in County Durham, in the UK, was blocked by the Highways Agency. This was because of a ban on further development beside the congested A1 road. David Abrahams then donated money to the UK Labour Party. In October 2006, the Highways Agency lifted the ban on the business park development – and a separate one near Newton Aycliffe further south. The transport secretary at the time was Douglas Alexander.
September 28 2012: Interview in the Evening Standard newspaper, in September 2012 criticising Ken Livingstone’s election campaign saying Livingstone paid the, “deserved price” when he lost the London Mayoral election. Livingstone hit back on Twitter, saying the Shadow Foreign Secretary, “represents a failed New Labour project that lost millions of votes”. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/douglas-alexander-i-blame-ken-for-losing-to-boris-he-paid-a-deserved-price-for-errors-he-made-8189690.html
October 2 2012: Labour’s Douglas Alexander gets thrashed by Andrew Neil on Labour party policies, in particuilar on tax and the economy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ1LP8ec4vk
September 20 2013: Damian McBride claimed in his memoirs that Douglas Alexander told Gordon Brown his sister would have to stand down to, “avoid further damage”. Alexander insisted he, “always supported” his sister, despite claims from Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor that he, “dispassionately” advised the then prime minister she would have to quit her role as the party’s Scottish leader. Wendy Alexander stood down from the post in 2008 because of a row about donations to her leadership campaign.
January 14 2014: Conduct Unbecoming
Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander had to be ‘dragged apart’ when they almost came to blows during a blazing row, it was revealed last night. Former Cabinet Minister Tessa Jowell was forced to intervene, saying she feared the Labour rivals were about to get into a ‘fisticuffs’. The dust-up happened when the Shadow Chancellor and Mr Alexander clashed in a private room in the Commons over the party’s policy on Europe.Mr Balls told Labour’s Shadow Cabinet he had Mr Alexander’s full support in toughening Labour’s stance on the EU. But pro-Brussels Mr Alexander accused him of lying and the two men slugged it out in a furious confrontation. The row was disclosed by Labour insiders after Mr Balls’s bid to soften his ‘bruiser’ image by praising Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg as ‘friendly and warm’.
Labour aides say animosity caused by the Balls-Alexander flare-up is disrupting the party’s preparations for next year’s General Election. Mr Alexander is Labour’s election chief and allies of Mr Balls say the Shadow Chancellor has been ‘shut out’ of the campaign. The row happened when Mr Balls led a Labour ambush on David Cameron by backing rebel Tory MPs in a Commons vote demanding a cut in the EU’s budget in October 2012. Mr Alexander accused Mr Balls of plotting the U-turn while he was on a trip to America. By the time Mr Alexander returned to the UK on October 28, Mr Balls had talked Labour leader Ed Miliband into agreeing to the policy somersault.
The day after, an article co-written by Mr Balls and a reluctant and jet-lagged Mr Alexander, spelling out the Labour switch, appeared in a national newspaper. Friends of Mr Alexander say he was ‘bounced’ into it. On October 31, 2012, Labour and Tory rebels duly defeated Mr Cameron in the Commons vote – but Mr Alexander was seething. The Labour duo squared up to each other in the Shadow Cabinet Room, and a Dame Tessa – who regularly acted as peacemaker between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during their time in Downing Street – had to intervene. She said later she feared the pair would come to blows. ‘She said it nearly ended in fisticuffs and she had to drag them apart,’ said a source. Another Labour insider added: ‘Ed and Douglas were screaming abuse and jabbing fingers at each other. ‘Ed said the decision to vote with the Tory rebels was agreed in full by Douglas’s team. Douglas was incandescent and called him a liar. Ed denied it.’ If they had come to blows, Mr Balls, who is more heavily built than Mr Alexander, may have had the upper hand.
Although they are both aged 46, ‘Bruiser Balls’ is a keen footballer and is as aggressive on the pitch as he is when shouting and gesticulating at Mr Cameron in the Commons. “Deadly Doug” is a wily behind-the-scenes operator, but mild-mannered by comparison. Both were leading members of Gordon Brown’s inner circle, but relations collapsed during Mr Brown’s on-off General Election fiasco in 2007, with claims that allies of Mr Balls tried to blame Mr Alexander. Mr Alexander was accused of ‘betrayal’ by friends of Mr Balls when he led Blairite David Miliband’s failed Labour leadership campaign in 2010. Dame Jowell allegedly had to act as peacemaker between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during their time in office
In 2005, Mr Alexander was the Minister for Europe who approved a cut in the UK’s rebate from Brussels and an increase in the EU’s budget. Two years later, Mr Balls attacked the EU’s ‘outdated budget’ – seen as a side-swipe at Mr Alexander. More recently, Mr Balls manoeuvred to push Labour towards backing an ‘in-out’ referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, a move fiercely opposed by Mr Alexander. A Labour official said: ‘Balls presents a cosy image of himself playing the piano and chatting with his new best friend Nick Clegg. But it’s a sham. Everyone knows he is a political thug.’However, a supporter of Mr Balls hit back: ‘Ed’s ploy to link up with Tory EU dissidents was a success. This is sour grapes by Douglas’s camp.’
The Balls-Alexander row comes less than two months after a leaked email from Ed Miliband’s office described Mr Balls as ‘a nightmare.’ A spokesman for Mr Balls said: ‘There was no row about the EU budget vote. We successfully defeated the Government on it and Ed and Douglas welcomed the result.’ Mr Alexander and Dame Tessa both declined to comment. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537817/Bruiser-Balls-dragged-apart-screaming-Alexander-stop-fists-flying-Tessa-Jowell-stops-Labour-heavyweights-coming-blows-Europe-vote.html
January 26 2014: Douglas Alexander on Sunday Politics Scotland – young voters and ‘more powers after No’. The evasiveness of Alexander on the ‘more powers after No vote’ issue underlines the stark truth. Scotland will get nothing after a No vote – it will be lucky to hold what it has. Devo Zero or Devo Minus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRipP5VhgZ0&feature=player_detailpage#t=352 http://wingsoverscotland.com/sometimes-you-have-to-write-things-down/
June 4 2014: A number of videos highlighting the politics of the son of the manse. But we are well prepared this time, another son of the manse revealed just what bigots they are. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7TbXYhFBis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WXfzo4OQUY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLqpQ0ZXkso
July 18 2014: Among the politicians most crucial to the fate of the United Kingdom, one of the least often considered is Douglas Alexander. The shadow foreign secretary has charge of Labour’s election strategy and long before next May Labour needs to look on course to form the next government. Ever one to promote a confusing soundbite he offered the view that, “politics that defines itself by difference holds no appeal for me”. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/18/douglas-alexander-interview
August 11 2014: So when you strip away all Alexander’s self-righteous verbiage, what are you left with? A cheap, partisan political operator who remains utterly convinced that the interests of his party and those of his country are still essentially the same. Bear that in mind next time you hear him say the words ‘National Convention’. http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/08/11/douglas-alexander-politician-thinker-great-briton/
August 29 2014: Senior Labour sources have rounded on Douglas Alexander, blaming the Shadow Foreign Secretary for the No campaign’s recent woes – and in particular an advert designed to appeal to women which led to accusations of patronising sexism. http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/labour-critics-pin-blame-for-new-no-woes-on-alexander.25188352
Alexander posted an article in the Daily Record on 23 July 2014. The content, full of spin is very revealing.
After he and Ed Miliband had their pictures taken with President Obama. “The backdrop to our discussion was the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17” [which killed 10 British people], “the continuing conflict in eastern Ukraine and the suffering engulfing Gaza.” He refers to a “wide-ranging and free-flowing exchange” (it lasted 25 minutes), “covering everything from these current crises to the need to tackle climate changes in the decades ahead.”
All of these giant issues are dismissed in three sentences.
The remainder of the article – 22 sentences – is devoted to President Obama’s views on the Scottish referendum. This is built entirely on one gnomic remark by Obama: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Everything that follows represents Mr Alexander’s thoughts on Scotland and the union, projected onto the President.
The article and the whole incident reflect poorly on Mr Alexander. When you are given a very short time with the President of the United States you should not waste any of it on what for him are trivial domestic British issues.
And you certainly do not make him take sides. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100285238/why-was-douglas-alexander-the-shadow-foreign-secretary-playing-football-during-pmqs-yesterday/
September 16 2014: Alexander attempting to defend the 3 amigo’s and their last minute offers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKJ1Jvm408c
September 19 2014: Scottish referendum ‘a wake-up call to all of us’ Labour’s 2015 election co-ordinator says it’s worrying that voters’ overwhelming emotion is one of distrust and hatred of politicians.
September 22 2014: Alexander, in a speech to the Labour conference 2014 in Manchester thanked the english students and Labour Party fifth columnists that invaded Scotland in the course of the referendum in support of the Better Together campaign.
He said, “Conference, we gather here in Manchester just days after a defining decision for our country. The referendum campaign in Scotland was about more than party politics. It was about who we are, what we believe and what we hope for as a nation.
And when, as Scots, we sent out the call to our friends and comrades in the Labour Party you answered that call. By coming to campaign alongside us, you demonstrated solidarity in action.
September 24 2014: Labour Party conference mind numbingly boring. There were even fewer open by the time Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary and man charged with organising Labour’s election campaign, had explained all his wall charts.
“Sixthly,” he announced deathlessly, sounding more and more like General Haig’s aide-de-camp planning the Battle of the Somme. “Chin up, chaps, I’ve got a plan.
What will happen is this. At 7am on 7 May, I will blow a whistle and we’ll all go over the top and take the Jerry trenches by breakfast.
September 24 2014: Douglas Alexander’s General Election Freudian slip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9WIgx6cZFI
Labour held the seat with 11,633 votes, just 617 ahead of UKIP. He reluctantly conceded: “We have work to do… we need to tackle the alienation that lies at the root of the anger with the Labour Party that so many voters feel.”
But heed his words 24 hours later, “Labour’s narrow lead in the Heywood and Middleton bye election was due to a collapse of the Conservative and Lib Dem vote into support for Ukip”. Hows that for spin?
November 9 2014: Will Labour miss the bus on local issues? This says a lot about Labour’s recruits. Anyone who’d worked in or with local papers, or even just worked and had to get the bus there, would have a better idea what readers and Labour voters want.
It’s this problem at the top that has prompted Labour’s election supremo Douglas Alexander to deploy teams of community activists across the country to focus on local issues that can be converted into votes.
He knows Miliband isn’t charismatic and that some of the politicians can’t connect because they’ve only previously known their patch from the pages of a think tank report.
Influential MPs such as Gordon Brown, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy and Anas Sarwar didn’t vote after their party’s Westminster debate on the despicable Con-Dem policy.
In total, 46 Labour MPs no-showed in Tuesday night’s vote – including 10 representing Scots constituencies.
March 29 2015: Dermot Murnaghan asked Alexander, “who’s to blame for the crisis in the Scottish Labour party?” The former leader, now Johann Lamont, who quit on Friday, said that some Labour MPs treated the party north of the border like a branch office. “Mr Alexander you must one of the dinosaurs that Johann Lamont has been talking about”. http://corporate.sky.com/media-centre/media-packs/2014/murnaghan-interview-with-douglas-alexander,-shadow-foreign-secretary
April 6 2015: Why did Labour Election Chief delete tweets slamming Nicola Sturgeon over alleged leaked memo comments?
The origin of the leaked memo, supposedly written by a civil servant following a conversation with consul general Pierre-Alain Coffinier, was the Scotland Office. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/scottish-secretary-confirms-nicola-sturgeon-memo-written-in-scotland-office-10157714.html
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the story – does Mr Alexander, who is also Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary, know something about it that he isn’t telling us about? Why was he happy to tweet about the story when it broke on Friday night. But yesterday he deleted all three of his tweets on the leaked memo. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/why-did-labour-election-chief-delete-tweets-slamming-nicola-sturgeon-over-her-leaked-memo-comments-10157871.html