Thursday, December 30, 2010

CBI director Iain McMillan writes his ‘report card’ on Scottish Government, he is solution lite and lacking vision, no future in education then

Dear All

Everyone has a right to put their bit in and complain, that is the nature of free speech.

CBI director Iain McMillan wants a return to a Labour Government in Holyrood, unfortunately someone else is parked there at present.

So what are his complaints regarding the current Scottish Government?

1/ The National Conversation on independence.

Is he serious? A party pursues its main goal!

This complaint is without merit.

2/ Cancelling Edinburgh and Glasgow Airport rail links.

Given that he accepts that there needs to be cuts, how does he think these projects can be paid for? Should the current Scottish Government spend money they don’t have?
Wouldn't he be straight onto the media citing and screaming financial incompetence from the rooftops if this was allowed to happen?

Also would he chop the £842 million New Glasgow Southern Hospital? 24/7 365 days a year serving 110,000 people?
How does he justify £200 million on a ten minute choo choo train ride that a report says the thing will be underused?

This complaint is without foundation.

3/ Failure to allow the private sector to deliver more public services.

The only way to deliver this is to destroy public services departments, is this reform for reform sake or just greed? A strong effective and efficient public service is needed coupled with a higher degree of commercial awareness is the answer, public service needs to acquire more flexibility.

This complaint is without merit too.

4/ Refusing to use Public Private Partnerships.

Labour dogma, buy now and pay forever!

This complaint is without foundation.

5/ Not allowing the building of new nuclear power plants.

Speaking personally I favour a mixed approached so won’t rule out the building of Nuclear Power Plants in the future provided certain conditions were met, for example State owned but commercially operated, waste management strategy and a levy put into a fund like the Norwegians done with oil.

His complaint is to my mind politically motivated, it is a unionist view.

6/ Hitting big retailers with higher business rates.

In any economy there needs to be a mix of small and big retailers, is it surprising that we should ask big retailers to put something back? Big retailers need sensible Government putting into place the mechanisms and infrastructure to allow a healthy economy and communities to flourish. We also need to support small businesses which local communities depend on too.

This complaint is without foundation as it is short term thinking, big retailers want steady and sustainable growth; the current Scottish Government ensures this.

So, six complaints which could have been written by the Labour Party, McMillian then has to come clean with the successes.

1/ streamlining planning procedures
2/ construction of new rail and motorway links.
3/ support for renewable energy
4/ the commitment to improving literacy and numeracy in schools
5/ the Curriculum for Excellence
6/ prompt payment policy to suppliers to the public sector (his members).
7/ Action to reduce red tape
8/ the council tax freeze.

‘East Coast Weasel’ Labour MSP Iain Gray joined criticisms by McMillian saying that there was a failure to grow the economy.

How can there be a failure when the Scottish Government deferred the cuts for a year to stimulate the economy in the first place?

Does Iain Gray who doesn’t understand economics not get keeping money in the system at present is helping Scotland and its people?

CBI director Iain McMillan thinks that Scotland should strip the public sector and place it in the hands of the private sector; this means that democratic accountability would be lost and Government at all levels would be tied in contracts allowing them no room for manoeuvre or act.

Then society would be in real trouble.

CBI director Iain McMillan says:

“In this election year, there will be temptations on the part of our politicians to avoid tough decisions and court popularity. But real leadership is about doing the right things for Scotland at the right time and explaining why they are necessary”.

Is he advocating full financial levers for Scotland?

That is ’the right things for Scotland at the right time’ or is that too innovative for him!

His ‘report card’ which he has presented as a failure is actually nothing of the kind, it shows that there is a real agenda for change, jobs done and successes made but like any report card it cannot report on the next year, we have to see the other changes in the pipeline work their way through. Tough decisions will be made but at the right time for the right reasons, government by the people for the people.

Scotland took a step forward in 2007, now it is time to start the ‘running’ programme.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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