Thursday, 15 October 2009

What Alex Said and What he Missed Out

Speaking today in Inverness at the start of the SNP conference Alex Salmond tried to do a Gordon Brown and list some achievements. Here is what he said, in brackets is what he missed out.

"Today, I am proud to be addressing you as First Minister on behalf of a successful and popular SNP administration – delivering for the people of Scotland.

"Scotland is a great nation, and is even better with the policies we have already introduced in our first two years – freezing the Council Tax (but he promised to Axe it and replace with a Local Income Tax)), recruiting 1,000 more police (the actual promise was for 1,000 extra on the street, not yet achieved), saving A&E units, restoring free education (they actually promised to dump student debt and have yet to tackle that), and moving quickly in the downturn to implement an economic recovery plan that is protecting 15,000 jobs."

"Admittedly the last point was trying to claim credit for dealing with the unexpected, however 8,500 construction jobs have been lost in Scotland this year may have something to do with the failure to match school building pledges brick for brick. Only schools started by the last administration or through Local authority funding have been completed, none have been started as a result of Parliament funding as promised. Unemployment has also more than doubled in Scotland's rural areas. 700 jobs went at Diageo's bottling plant in Motherwell due to SNP bickering. 700 jobs at the Royal Bank of Scotland, 500 more through Lloyds subsiduaries, 300 redundacnies at Scottish Universities, 850 at Hewlett Packard in Erskine. Even Skills Development Scotland an initiative that should be helping those out of work get back to work laid off 160.

Here in West Lothian 500 jobs are going at Bausch and Lomb’s plant in Livingston due to the SNP's failure to maintain the areas Regional Selective Assistance status. 58 went with the closure of the SEH Europe plant in Livingston, 60 at Russell Europe's distribution plant in Bathgate, HBoS cut many jobs from its IT base in Livingston, 140 Jobs at Sun Microsystems in Linlithgow.

Now I've not been keeping count and I could go on, but I reckon I'm pretty sure I'm over 15,000 right there, all with in the last 12 months or so.


  1. I don't understand, are you suggesting these job losses were the SNP's fault? Despite unemployment rocketing not only across the UK, but Europe?

    So Salmond's point is now basically that it would have been 30,000 jobs lost as opposed to 15,000 jobs if it wasn't for the action taken.

    Sounds ok to me...

  2. Err actually Jeff no I'm not. However, I did point out a couple of examples in the list, construction, Diageo and Bausch and Lomb that were actions, or rather inactions, of the Parliament can be marked down as contributary factors.

    There were other points in the above, but the glorious praise of securing 15,000 jobs doesn't reflect on the fuller picture. Surely not the time for such triumphalism on that score.

  3. I don't know why every positive claim from the SNP is reduced to "triumphalism". When Nick Clegg talks about the Gurkhas is he also involving in 'triumphalism'?

    As for Bausch and Lamb, I really don't know much about the detail and I would imagine the main reason the company moved out of West Lothian is for private sector reasons rather than public sector reasons.

    Anyway, given I don't know much about it, i read the link you so kindly provided.

    Imagine my surprise, given your pinning the job losses on the SNP, when I see this quote from the Chief Exec of the Chambers of Commerce:

    “It is disappointing that during recent years, Alistair Darling, Iain Gray, Jim Devine, Margaret Hodge and Michael Connarty, all had opportunities to influence changes that might have helped businesses like Bausch and Lomb to stay in West Lothian.

    “The consequence of their inaction is that Ireland is now perceived internationally as a more attractive business location than West Lothian.”

    Furthermore, in terms of construction jobs, capital spending has been fast-tracked this year so every pound available to the Scottish Government has been spent so I don't know what else you would have wanted the Government to do?

    Unless they had borrowing powers of course.... ;)

    And are you really suggesting the Scottish Government could have done more regarding Diageo?

  4. Hi Stephen,

    I think you are being very disingenuous in some of you comments here. Jeff has already tackled you hard on the Diageo matter. I would like to raise LIT.

    It ill-becomes a party that sabotaged a policy promoted by a minority government, similar to one contained its own manifesto, to then berate that minority government for having failed to secure an election pledge. You are just not fighting fair. But then that seems to have become a feature of the Lib Dems at the moment.

    I don't think you help your cause with this sort of ridiculous posting and it seems from the Scottish polls that I am not alone in considering the Lib Dems current actions flawed.

    Get a grip, eh!