Good grace from the gentle giant

The manner in which Michael Moore has accepted his ditching as Scottish Secretary and as the Tories’ standard bearer in their fight against an independent Scotland is commendable.

Make no mistake, it was as the voice of the no campaign that led to his removal from office and from his seat in the cabinet. There has been little or no criticism of how he performed in his post outside the referendum battle.

Moore is a Liberal Democrat. He is not a Conservative. He is a mild-mannered giant who prefers discussion to make his points, rather than bawl and shout.

He was third choice for the Scottish Secretary job after the uneasy marriage between two totally-opposing parties after the General Election. He has likely found the coalition marital bed more than a bit lumpy and decidedly uncomfortable, knowing the area has constantly rejected the Conservatives since as far back as 1965. David Mundell, the sole Conservative MP north of the border, does not enjoy a massive support in the Tweeddale part of his constituency.

Instead of exploding in anger and spouting bile at his sacking and finding failings in his replacement, Moore has accepted the change with good grace. But he has issued a warning that the no campaign is likely to suffer if the battle becomes a boxing match. It is hard to argue against that – the referendum is far too important for it to be decided on knockouts.