Blair's hired the wrong e-minister by mistake!

He meant to give the job to his sister, Wendy


Tony Blair has made a terrible error in hiring Douglas Alexander as e-minister - he actually meant to hire Douglas' sister Wendy.

That at least can be the only explanation as to why Douglas was given the high-ranking job when he knows next to nothing about the Internet, while his sister Wendy, four years his senior, holds the post of e-minister in the Scottish Parliament. How embarrassing.

Ms Alexander is the member for Paisley North and has been fighting the cause of e-commerce in Scotland for years. Officially, she is responsible for "the economy, business and industry, including Scottish enterprise, Highlands and Islands enterprise, tourism, trade and inward investment, further and higher education, the science base and e-commerce, Digital Scotland, lifelong learning, training and the delivery of the New Deal."

Wendy Alexander has been extremely successful in promoting Scotland as an ideal place for IT and Internet companies to build offices. The Digital Scotland initiative (which she heads) is an ideal model for what England needs to do to attract more hi-tech business.

She has also helped make Scotland one of the most clued-up areas of the UK in terms of getting businesses on the Internet. Her own estimate is that Scottish businesses made around £200m by trading on the Web last year.

Clearly Tony Blair has been impressed with her work and wanted to bring her down to Whitehall to work her magic but some terrible clerical error would seem to have happened. Instead, Douglas - who knows only about election campaigns and toeing the party line and who just happens to be a good friend of the chancellor Gordon Brown - has been put in instead.

Imagine what will happen when Tony finds out. We wonder if someone switched the names.

If would also seem that Douglas Alexander is not exactly Mr Golden Boy in Paisley either. During the election campaign, he failed to turn up to press conferences and shared debates, angering all the other political parties. In fact, the SNP candidate went so far as to accuse him of being unable to handle a proper debate because he was nothing but "the Chancellor's boy". The LibDem candidate, Eileen McCartin, called him a "party lackey". Oh dear.

So when Dougie does finally sit down at his new desk with his own staff and a big brass sign saying "Douglas Alexander - big, important e-minister", you can bet the first thing he'll do is pick up the phone. "Sis, tell me about this Internet thing again." ®


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