Stevenson's Departure

At the start of the week, the BBC programme, Newsnight, carried two debates, one about the adverse weather of the last couple of weeks, that resulted, on Monday, in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of drivers being stuck overnight in their vehicles on the M8.

The other debate was about, er…can't remember. Except that while the invite to the relevant Westminster department was turned down, the invite to Scottish transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, was not.

Emily Maitlis was spurned, but Gordon Brewer – anchoring the Scottish opt-out of the programme – was not.

This evening, it's not the reclusive Westminister mandarins who have just handed in their resignation, but Stevenson.

And it's not a clip of Maitlis having to inform viewers that “no-one was available” that is being repeated on BBC News.

Chances are the BBC News later on this evening will report Stevenson's departure using the clip where – to gasps of incredulity, in at least some corners – he describes the response to the traffic chaos as “first class”.

During what soon turned into a 'trial by media', the comment provided further 'evidence' of his seeming incompetence.

But, within the last hour or so, Friends of the Earth Scotland has issued a statement, saying: “Stewart Stevenson should be proud of his achievements in shepherding the Climate Change Act through the Scottish Parliament as Scotland¹s first dedicated Minister for Climate Change.”

So, maybe he wasn't so incompetent, after all. 

Maybe, instead, he was just tactically naive to agree to being interviewed.