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Political editor Brian Taylor
"It would be a pet name"
 real 56k

Chief political correspondent John Morrison
"Opposition parties greeted the news with total derision"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 17:45 GMT
Ministers play the name game
Scottish Parliament
A name change could be on the cards for the executive
The Scottish Executive could be set for a name change amid concern that its current title is too confusing.

Parliament Minister Tom McCabe hinted at the move as he unveiled the executive's priorities.

The news came on the day the Post Office announced that it will change its name from March.


The executive should concentrate on delivering for the people of Scotland rather than worrying about its image

John Swinney, Scottish National Party leader
It will be known as Consignia, which is said to come from the words "to consign" and is meant to "exude trust".

Local Post Office branches will retain the old name.

The suggestion that the Scottish Executive could follow suit and plump for a new name came as ministers set out their priorities for government.

As he unveiled the proposals, Mr McCabe hinted that the executive could change its name in the future in order to clear up any confusion people have about the government.

"Some people ask if that achieves maximum recognition. There is a degree of confusion," he said of the current name.

Work done

Some ministers are concerned that the current name does not fully explain the extent of the work done by the executive.

Mr McCabe insisted the possible name change was not being prompted by the need for a new image.

He said it is vital taxpayers know what the executive is and what it does.

"Everyone wants to make sure that their organisation is as clear in the public's mind as it possibly can be, and I think that this is more important for the government than anyone else," he said.

David McLetchie
David McLetchie attacked the idea
However, the idea was attacked by Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie.

"It just shows that the first minister, far from cherishing the legacy he inherited from Donald Dewar, is trying to disassociate himself from the record of the Scottish Executive to date," he said.

"However, this re-branding will not work. You can change the wrapping paper but you can't disguise the shoddy goods."

And Scottish National Party leader John Swinney said: "The only explanation is that the executive believes it has completely failed and it is trying to rebrand itself.

"The executive should concentrate on delivering for the people of Scotland rather than worrying about its image."

Liberal Democrat backbencher Donald Gorrie, however, backed a name change.

"We need words that distinguish the Scottish cabinet and deputy ministers from Scottish civil servants," said the MSP for Central Scotland.

"The phrase Scottish Executive covers both - and leads to confusion as to whether an action was carried out by authority of ministers or by civil servants."

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