The wheels really have fallen off the wagon of the SNP Government as the sheer incompetence of Alex Salmond and Mike Russell was painful exposed in the Scottish Parliament yesterday.
Alex Salmond has been forced to make a humiliating apology after issuing misleading claims about college funding.
This is sheer incomptence!
This is sheer incomptence!
Some time ago I wrote an article that Salmond should send SNP Ministers back to their desks, particularly in law and education because both these departments are so badly managed that they need full time scrutiny.
But the SNP Ministers are fixated on independence, everything is ‘independence independence independence’, we now see the result of bad SNP government emerging.
The First Minister said colleges received more cash this year than last, despite official figures showing a steep fall.
Trust is a major factor in securing independence and as we are seeing when the SNP Government publish something or say something people are becoming more less trusting without a third party source of confirmation.
The Labour Party is beginning to ‘find the range’ of the SNP and are inflicting sever damage on the government.
Alex Salmond recently said at the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement that his advisors told him to tone down any sign of triumphalism. Yesterday in the Holyrood chamber, he thought he was standing on rock solid ground only to find out that it was really political quicksand.
Mr Salmond's embarrassment was heightened by him insisting to Ms Lamont he had provided "as exact an answer as anyone has ever given to Parliament".
An answer which wasn’t the truth!
Salmond was flanked by the inept Education Secretary Michael Russell and Finance Secretary John Swinney, who nodded agreement.
Later on Salmond and Russell were cocky as they left the chamber and spoke to the press and TV cameras. Russell was particularly gloating when he decided to put his ten cents worth in.
A few short hours however, the pair returned to the chamber to apologise to MSPs at the end of the day's proceedings.
"The figure I used was provided to me and used in good faith. There was no intention to mislead. I take full responsibility for what I say in this chamber; therefore I have taken the earliest opportunity to correct the figure. I apologise to the chamber for this error."
The ‘good faith’ was extensively used by Tony Blair while in office and people remember how they were misled.
Johann Lamont dismissed the apology and insisted the error was deliberate. This sounds like Lamont is continuing with the Labour theme that Alex Salmond is a ‘bare faced liar’ and not to be trusted at all on anything.
"He did not accidentally go from one column to another. The contempt Alex Salmond shows to the Scottish people and this Parliament is breathtaking.
"Facts come second to put-downs and the interests of the Scottish people come second to the interests of Alex Salmond's career. After the European debacle, how can we ever believe a word Alex Salmond says again?"
Salmond's apology comes three weeks after he agreed to an inquiry into allegations he lied in a TV interview about Government legal advice on an independent
's membership of the EU. He denied lying on that occasion, some people are dismissing the inquiry already as a whitewash, interesting even his own ministerial advisors, Angiolini and Fraser who look at his conduct as First Minister have declined to take part. Scotland
Last year, Salmond was forced to correct his interpretation of the views of Dr Matt Qvortup, a constitutional expert, on the referendum plan.
He claimed Dr Qvortrup had endorsed the SNP Government's plans for a two-question vote but the First Minister later admitted to Parliament the information he used had been "wrong".
So, we are seeing a pattern emerging of an SNP Government in crisis which some people believe is either incompetent at best or untrustworthy.
It seems that George Laird was right again that Salmond should have sent his Ministers back to their desks to get a grip on their briefs.
The second time Salmond left the chamber; it was with the head down, no cheeky smart arse quips, his tail firmly between his legs, as a movie buff here is a quote which Salmond should remember:
“Smart, I like, smart arse I don’t”.
The Campaign for Human Rights at