people-of-influence-whom-you-hardly-know – Wendy Alexander – One time Labour stalwart – Suffered from foot in mouth – Retired From politics

alexander wWendy Alexander


Wendy Alexander:  is a retired Scottish politician.

She graduated from the University of Glasgow with a First Class MA (Hons) in Economic and Modern History. She later gained a postgraduate MA in Industrial Relations from the University of Warwick, and an MBA from INSEAD. After her MBA Alexander worked for Booz & Co., an international management consultancy, undertaking assignments in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia.

A former Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Paisley North. She held various Scottish Government cabinet posts and was the leader of the Labour Party group in the Scottish Parliament from 2007–2008.

She is a good friend of Sarah Smith, daughter of the late John, one-time leader of the Labour Party who also found the invitation north for the referendum impossible to refuse. Sarah had a lovely wedding not so long ago which she shared with her friends the Alexander twins and their father who married Sarah (as minister officiating not, well you know).

Other guests included the great and the good (it’s a phrase okay) from the Labour Party. Sarah’s sister is the daughter-in-law of the Right Honourable the Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen, KT, GCMG, FRSA, FRSE, PC and of the Labour Party. Do you think he says that every time he answers the phone? Sarah’s political shows on BBC Scotland have not been well-received but that’s no reason for her not to keep trying. Go Sarah go!

Following Tony Blair’s election in May 1997, she was appointed Special Adviser to Donald Dewar when he became Secretary of State for Scotland. She was deeply involved in the preparation of the White Paper on devolution, the Scotland Act 1998 and preparations for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, all matters she had published on during the 1990s. She is reported as saying, “Scotland wants to see a future that allows her to walk taller within the UK without walking out” calling for a new “expert-led and independent” Scottish constitutional commission. Also attributed to her is the statement, “history teaches that constitutional reform has never been gifted to Scotland. It has to be fought and argued for”.


_49337792_dewar_opening_online.transfDonald Dewer (Deceased)75124788_sarah_smith_scotland2014Sarah Smith


May 4 2008. During a TV interview, she suggested that she would be willing to support a referendum on Scottish Independence saying, “Bring It On!”. It was a bold move, but led to suggestions of a rift between her and the Prime Minister, (Gordon Brown) who did not overtly back her.


26918_1Wendy Alexander


2008. A Channel Islands businessman Paul Green made a second illegal donation to the Labour Party in 2008. His contribution to Wendy Alexander’s Leadership campaign brought a public apology from her after she admitted his cheque broke strict donation rules. Meanwhile, First Minister Alex Salmond said the police might have to investigate the affair.”




She stood down from her role as leader and subsquently left parliament. John Swinney commented, “Labour have no idea where they are going. They’re already fighting like ferrets in a sack, as they always do – which is at the root of the Wendy Alexander problem by the way – about the issue of the independence referendum. It’s all over the newspapers, they’re taking different views, they’re all bad-mouthing each other in the process,” he said. He added: “That’s all part of the furniture of the Labour party’s contribution to Scottish politics.”


salmondAlex SalmondimagesswJohn Swinney


January 2011. Wendy’s chequered career had been somewhat in the doldrums until given a new lease of life recently by the decision of the Coalition to implement, almost in full, the recommendations of the Calman Commission on Devolution. As this body was largely a personal invention of Ms Alexander, she was made convenor of the Holyrood committee charged with examining the Scotland Bill, which gives legislative effect to what Calman proposed. And it was during a session of this committee last week that the lady, “got tore into”, as they say in these parts, by two learned professors of economics who had come up with opinions that seemed to support, not enhanced devolution – which is her preferred option – but outright separation.


7c328cb0520583aa79f571b7b04fe568respected academic Alan Trench


January 2011. Wendy had often been accused of intransigence and arrogance so anyone that might dare to voice opposition to her nonsensical Bill risks public humiliation. The respected academic Alan Trench has filed a devastating post today on why he will no longer give evidence to the committee. Trench, of the Constitution Unit at University College London and Edinburgh University, is unhappy at the way the committee monstered two other academics, Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett and Professor Drew Scott.


documentProfessor Andrew Hughes HalletthqdefaultProfessor Drew Scott


February 2011: Wendy Alexander walked out yet again, resigning her Paisley seat citing the oldest and lamest excuse in politics, “to spend time with her family”. She leaves the Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, and fellow career women in the lurch. Though somehow, I don’t think this is the last we have heard of Wendy.


Iain Gray 3_1Iain Gray


February 2011. Wendy was always regarded as one of Labour’s brightest talents. The outspoken former government minister was tipped as a future Scottish Labour leader almost since the beginning of devolution itself. A row once ensued over a leaked letter she wrote to former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars, in which she wrote, “perhaps the last time the Labour movement in Scotland had made a real intellectual contribution to the party nationally was in 1906”. One thing is for sure – Ms Alexander’s stormy, 10-month stint doing the job, when she eventually got it, isn’t likely to be forgotten any time soon.


imagesJim Sillars & Margo Macdonald


December 2011: Linwood named 2011 Carbuncle “winner”. From the Hillman Imp to Tescotown, Linwood has gone down the toilet as its main shopping centre has been slowly run into the ground by Tesco. A local council worker ventured, “Its like Fort Apache. I feel really strongly about the sociological implications never mind the health implications. They seem to strangle every initiative… it’s this, “Tescoisation” of the world where they’ll buy up land so no-one else can build. At the bottom of the food chain are the punters who are in effect powerless.”


newspic_2028images78Linwood named 2011 Carbuncle “winner”


April 2012. Wendy appointed to the position of Associate Dean at London Business School where she provides strategic leadership for the school’s degree programmes. The Business School is a leader in the field of business education and is consistently ranked among the best in the world for our full-time MBA programme.


hqdefaultccLondon Business School


May 2012. Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is pleased to announce that Wendy Alexander is to join its advisory board. Commenting on the appointment, SEP Managing Partner Calum Paterson said: “I am delighted that Wendy Alexander is joining our advisory board. She will bring a distinct and valuable perspective to our business. I have no doubt that our investment team and portfolio companies will benefit greatly from her considerable and broad ranging experience”. Wendy said, “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to continue my relationship with Scottish Equity Partners. Venture capital and private equity plays a significant role in the enterprise economy and I am looking forward to helping the firm to build on its successful track record.”


what-are-investors-looking-for-catherine-simpson-scottish-equity-partners-1-638Scottish Equity Partners (SEP)


September 2013. In his book, “Power Trip” Damian McBride, (former Gordon Brown hit man), claimed Douglas Alexander dispassionately told the Prime Minister that his sister had to quit in order to avoid further damage, advising that, his sister’s resignation should not be linked to comments she had made about the independence referendum but instead should be attributed to the earlier matter of payments made to her campaign fund.


damian-mcbride-pic-alan-davidson-996218140Damian McBride,


Brian Ashcroft was Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. The institute is often cited on BBC Scotland as an independent think-tank which coincidentally issues lots of warnings about the weakness of the Scottish economy.

The BBC subordinated the GERS report to a commentary by the Fraser of Allander Institute allegedly indicating Scotland’s economy was too weak to sustain independence. They ran the story all day but did not reveal once that the Fraser Institute is a New Labour “think-tank”, and its head is the husband of Wendy Alexander, failed New Labour leader, and brother-in-law of shadow Foreign Minister Douglas Alexander. Fraser has an appalling forecasting record, having issued dire and completely wrong forecasts on growth ever since the SNP came to power.

Wendy Alexander’s husband, is to step down from his academic post as director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University to spend more time with their twins. His decision, announced yesterday, will allow Ms Alexander to spend more of her time on the onerous task of leading Labour in opposition. He pointed out that he will still be teaching part-time at the university and will continue some academic research. He further explained, “I am 60 and have been director of the Institute for ten years and policy director for seven years. That meant a high work load. I am at the time of my life when I would like more flexibility. My wife is just about to become the leader of the Scottish parliamentary Labour group, which is a very demanding role.” He added that their age difference came into it when making the decision about caring for 18-month-old Caitlin and Michael. “I am 60 and she is only 44 and so it seemed the right thing to do in being prepared to give her more support,” he said. “In Wendy’s job, there is going to be a lot of pressure on her and that backwashes on me. This is what I want to do and I am excited about doing it. I am still being re-engaged on a part-time basis. I will do some teaching, some research and my own projects as well as supporting Wendy and looking after the kids”. Asked if that made him a, “new man”, Ashcroft – who has a 24-year-old daughter from his previous marriage as well as a 26-year-old step-daughter – joked: “Given my age, I am a pretty old man”.


3852542817Brian Ashcroft


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