Congratulations to the multi-talented Simon Pia.
Having carved a successful career as a journalist, he reinvented himself as diarist par excellence at The Scotsman.
Back in early January when the pair were uncermoniously emptied by the struggling radio station to make way for new star attraction. Dominik Diamond, I confidently predicted it wouldn’tbe long before Simon landed himself another plum role.
So I s’pose I shouldn’t be surprised that the extremely well-connected Mr Pia has reinvented himself yet again – this time as media advisor (that’s spin doctor) to Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander.
I probably wouldn’t have had Simon as the most obvious choice for the unforgiving cut and thrust of politiical PR, but no doubt he can wield sharpened elbow with the best of them.
The Wendy Alexander job is one that’s taken on something of a reputaion as a poison chalice in recent months – not least because of the shenanigans which saw previous incumbent Brian Lironi leave the post within weeks of taking it up. I’ve known Brian for many years and his stint as the Sunday Mail’s politicial editor at the Scottish Parliament seemed to make him the perfect man for the job. (Fellow media bloggers Stephen Rafferty and Shaun Milne have posted on the events which saw Lironi part company with Alexander and later take up as media advisor for Glasgow’s Mr Labour, Stephen Purcell instead).
Given the Scottish Labour leader’s recent donations troubles; the fact that her sponsor in Number 10 seems to have lost the confidence of the nation; the minor point that after decades of power Labour are now in opposition north of the Border; and the hard-to-escape conclusion tht Shouty Alexander seems to gets through spin doctors faster than Northern Rock gets through treasury reserves, I’m sure Simon hasn’t got any illusions about the tough job ahead.
Then again, I know pretty much hee haw about party politics. In fact, before today I couldn’t even have told you what party persuasion Mr Pia was for sure.
One thing is beyond doubt though – and that’s which side of the city his football allegiances lie. When I suggested to Simon that his latest appointments is part of a green and white conspiracy to get Hibs supporters into the upper echelons of Scottish society he didn’t deny it.
His repsonse? “Well, I couldn’t exactly work for that Jambo Eck Salmond now, could I?”
That’s Simon for you. Absolutely true to his colours. So, I for one will be wishing him the best of luck – and hoping that red suits him.