Thursday, 18 December 2008

Let's Pull Together Pulled Apart by Mulligan

Whilst the news of latest company in what was once known as "Silicon Glen" to relocate 140 jobs from its Linlithgow base is sad news the motion lodged by Mary Mulligan MSP about Sun Microsystems reeks of partisan politics.

"Parliament notes with deep concern the decision of Sun Microsystems to relocate around 140 jobs from its base in Linlithgow to Oregon in the United States of America; notes that one of the company’s executive vice presidents is Crawford Beveridge, a prominent SNP donor and member of the Council of Economic Advisers; understands that the Council of Economic Advisers exists to bring jobs and
economic growth to Scotland, not take them away, and believes that this is both extremely embarrassing for Alex Salmond MSP and extremely worrying for families
across Linlithgow and West Lothian going into the New Year facing redundancy. "

Only 45 of the 101 words in this motion relate to the situation the remainder are an outright attack on the SNP and there is no constructive action recommendation in what could be done. Basically it is shameful.

You wonder if she has deliberately worded her motion thus so that SNP list MSP and Linlithgow resident Fiona Hyslop cannot possibly lend her support to her motion? If so is this so that she can launch an attack that the local SNP have not supported her over a major employer in the area?

Sadly when Labour in Westminster are telling the other parties of the need to pull together to get through the credit crunch my Labour constituency representative at Holyrood is doing just the reverse. It is two facedness of Labour to call for unity in these hard times in one place yet for such a partisan attack when jobs are at stake in their individual patch.

I also find it quite bizarre that the Prime Minister and Chancellor love to point out that there is a global recession hitting us, that all that is going on is outwith thier remit. However, when parochialism is an effective tool one of their party's local representatives hides behind it being a UK, or in this case Scottish problem, even if the company is a global company with corporate headquarters outside these fair isles of ours.

Hat tip to West World

Update: Interestingly the Edinburgh Evening News has followed up on this story a bit since both me and West World blogged about it. It would appear that Mr Beveridge was a part time director with the company and as Sun Microsystems' spokeswoman has confirmed:

"Crawford Beveridge works part-time with Sun. The decision to close
Linlithgow was a manufacturing decision and Crawford was not involved in that

"Had his participation been required, given his ongoing work with the
Scottish Government – in particular, the Council of Economic Advisers – he
would, of course, have had to remove himself from the decision making process
given the conflict of interest."

So heaven knows even more now just what Mary was seeking to achieve with this rant. Although she must now be wiping the egg from her face.


  1. Thanks for the Hat Tip and thanks for picking up on this.

    Not to be outdone, Devine displays breathtaking brass neck (even by his standards) in the Herald today.

    I'll get round to a post on this later. For now, business calls!

  2. Can I be incredibly geeky and just point out that as a Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop couldn't sign the motion anyway ;-)

    But I agree entirely with the sentiment of your post. I would have thought the Labour backbenches would have been getting used to being in opposition, but it appears that these motions and Foulkes' questions are just getting more and more common.

  3. Yeah you're right that was incredibly geeky. ;)

    Of course you're also right that by making everyone an attack on the government isn't doing anyone any good.