Wednesday 19 November 2008

Free School Meals

There's a nasty rumour going around - very nasty, it bit me - that Liz Smith MSP of the Conservatives is intending to vote against the School meals statutory instrument tomorrow (well, today, but I've not been to sleep yet so it's still tomorrow).

She has been quoted as saying
“It is possible that the SNP will lose tomorrow and suffer a major defeat on what it sees as a flagship policy”

Food for children or score a political point... Food for children or score a political point... You can see how it's a difficult decision, can't you?

The Labour MSPs has, apparently, started backing off as they realise what the political implications are of siding with the Conservatives to remove food from the mouths of children, but some within their group are still pressing for a 'no' vote in an attempt to try to beat the SNP on a vote - nothing to do with whether the policy is right or wrong, just try to win something.

Oh, how I wish Kezia's blog was still available with that lovely line of "Maggie Thatcher stole my milk" emblazoned across it (not true, of course, if I'm correct in assuming that Kezia went to school in Scotland - Thatcher was Education Minister for England at the time of the alleged offence).

Margaret Smith of the Lib Dems is, I am told, warbling on about bringing in a means-test and is still thinking about whether to vote against to win a political point.

Last time these three managed to gang up properly it was, of course, to push through a vanity project - a white elephant known as the Edinburgh Tram (singular) at a cost of half a billion quid and rising (but not for long).

Meanwhile, MSPs have received a letter encouraging a yes vote from organisations who full y support the steps - Douglas Hamilton at Save the Children, Ewan Aitken at the Church of Scotland, Dave Watson at Unison, Greg Dempster at the Association of Headteachers and Deputes Scotland, Agnes Tolmie of the Scottish Women's Convention, Peter Kelly of the Poverty Alliance, Marion Davies of One Parent Families Scotland, John Mulvey of the Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty, and John Dickie of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland. You may recognise these names from other public roles.

This is going to be interesting.

No comments: