Monday 12 November 2007

We don't make petty party political points - unlike the other parties.

I'm reminded more and more often these days of the headline to this posting. It was actually said by a candidate during a hustings meeting at an election a few years ago (the candidate was successful in that election and remains elected today), and to be fair to him, he tells the story 'on himself' and claims (and I believe him) that it was said in the heat of battle and he should be excused.

Well, I’ll excuse him; he’s actually quite a good politician and works extremely hard for the people who elected him.

Which is in stark contrast to the people who keep reminding me of his quote:

Wendy Alexander (Labour) saying there’s not enough money in Scotland to pay for the SNP Government’s plans while insisting that Scotland’s got far more money than it needs because there’s £30 billion (actually, that’s the near-cash total for three years’ time) and that she should get more money herself because she doesn’t know how to run her office on the same amount of money as the SNP did in opposition.

Tavish Scott (Lib Dem) saying in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament that he believed in John Swinney’s efforts to freeze Council Tax across Scotland in the same week as he told newspapers that the manifesto pledge was a “cruel deception”.

Nicol Stephen in his speech to the Lib Dems’ Scottish region conference said that Fiona Hyslop had reneged on her promise on student grants when she said
“the operational burden of such a move would be prohibitive”
She actually said that about retrospective cancellation of the Graduate Endowment (tuition fees introduced by the Lib Dems). You can read the Lib Dem Speech here and the Ministerial Statement and questions on the SNP’s decision to abolish the Lib Dems’ Graduate Endowment tuition fees here

David McLetchie (Con) in his February 2006 constituency newsletter:
“Serious question marks are now being raised about the funding of the proposed tram lines following a significant increase in estimated costs to over £700 million. Originally the Scottish Executive had pledged a contribution of £375 million towards the projects and if they are to go ahead as proposed, there will have to be a significant increase to cover inflation in construction costs.
However in itself this will not be enough to bridge the gap and leaves the Council scratching around to raise the balance from developer contributions, land sales or borrowing.”
In August 2007 (Edinburgh Evening News)
“The city council cannot expect the Scottish Executive to write a blank cheque
for trams.”
BBC website, 4th March 2003:
“if we then look at the Transport Initiatives Edinburgh Business Case … it is clear that the business case is dependent on revenue from tolls.
"Public transport initiatives are welcome but trams should not be at the cost of tolls - we already pay enough in taxes."
Why did he vote in Parliament for the continuation of the Tram Project then?

I’ll continue to make party political points because I believe that they’re important for helping people see the differences between parties, but I’ll try to be consistent and keep it honest, and I’ll try to avoid them being petty – other people can judge whether I succeed.


Anonymous said...

Calum, re; McLetchie

Perhaps it is something to do with the publication of an Audit Scotland report (as commissioned by the Scot Nat Government) which gave the Trams a clean bill of health.

Also I would point out that as a result of Conservative pressure the trams were backed on the strict condition that any further costs would be the responsibility of the City of Edinburgh Council.


Calum Cashley said...

You think? Perhaps I'll get round to posting on the Auditor General's report soon, but clean bill of health it was not.

It's disappointing that the attitude of so many national politicians is that so long as it's only the people of Edinburgh who'll suffer for labour's vanity Tram Project, that's OK.