Conservative finance and public service reform spokesman at Holyrood, Derek Brownlee, has claimed that we are all in this mess together and that Scotland and the Scots should get behind the Tory cuts.
He went on to criticise John Swinney and the SNP for daring to defer the cuts till next year despite that being an election pledge of one George Osborne now Chancellor of the Exchequer.
I’m sorry but I am now going to quote Mr Brownlee at length. I ask you to bear with me and don’t switch off:
“Labour left the country’s economy in a mess, it is time to sort out that mess. We are all in this together and we have a role to play, that includes the Scottish Government. The UK Government has managed to come up with efficiencies worth more than £6 billion. The Scottish Government has been asked to make savings worth £332 million, that is 1p in every pound it spends. If the UK Government can make savings the Scottish Government needs to do the same or explain why it can’t. Delaying the inevitable will only put more pressure on the economy and front-line services in the future. In the spirit of the new mutual respect agenda, the Conservatives offered the Scottish Government much greater flexibility with its budget and that is now a reality. Alex Salmond needs to take that responsibility seriously and either make savings this year or explain why the Scottish Government is unable to do so. The SNP Government cannot make the same mistakes Labour made. Gordon Brown refused to make savings ahead of the UK election for political reasons, effectively mortgaging the country’s future to save Labour at the ballot box.”
How preachy is that? And all that from a party in disarray north of the border and one that seems to be seriously considering breaking its links with the English Tories. Why not get your own house in order before the sermon?
I think we were told to make savings Mr Brownlee, not asked. That's the respect agenda for you! They pretended that we would escape cuts this year. But after their aspirations for 12 MPs came to nothing, we were told that there would be twice as many next year. R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
I love the way that anytime the UK is in a pickle the powers that be invoke the Dunkirk spirit and expect us all to pull together to fix their mess. I say get stuffed!
I think it's reasonable to question if we ARE indeed all in this together. We are, I suppose, all forced to be in it but when the good times were flowing, just how much of the fabulous money was coming OUR way?
Yes, Labour established a minimum wage, at, if I recall right, £3.60 an hour... hardly a fortune, but in the never ending boom that Brown assured us he had secured, the link between the average wage and retirement pensions, for example, was never re-established. It seemed that despite unlimited British wealth the old and the poor were not to enjoy any of the success of the booming British economy under Labour.
No, for sure we weren’t all in it together back then.
This crisis is the result of the ludicrous policies of an English Government pandering to the fat cats in the city of London and the need to bail them out when they became too greedy and too stupid. They all floated the UK economy on an ocean of bad credit and debt and blew a housing bubble of gargantuan proportions till the whole thing collapsed.
And before people say that it was Scottish banks that were the worst offenders let me knock that on the head. The two Scottish banks in question would be HBOS and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The former is Halifax Bank of Scotland and as far as I am aware Halifax is not in Scotland and the latter included the National Westminster as its larger partner, which is also not Scottish.
When are people like Mr Brownlee going to stop opposing the SNP Government because it is the Government, and start working to help address the problem?
If Mr B is so hell fire keen on the Dunkirk spirit and pulling together, then why does he not start with himself and his party? We don’t want fine preachy speeches, nor do we want a faux respect agenda and political gimmickry... and those things pretty much sum up Mr Brownlee’s fine words. What we do want, if WE are all to pull together, is that our parliamentarians set a good example by being a little less bitchy, and a little more constructive in THEIR pulling together. Let's have a bit more cooperation and not drag Holyrood down to the sort of beer garden politics that we have in the Westminster chamber
Oh, and by the way, I think a look at the books will show that Mr Swinney has already made very substantial cuts, so what’s the fuss about? Please respect our elected government by not attempting to blame it for your cuts.