Campaigns: February 2008 Archives

donald trump.jpgSo The Donald's plan to trash the Balmedie dunes will go to an inquiry. Great news for the community, although we will wait and see whether they choose Jack Nicklaus or Sam Torrance to oversee the inquiry.

Salmond's on record as saying they'd abide by an Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route inquiry rejection of the road, and hopefully the same applies here.

Patrick asked the question, and John Swinney answered it (I think) for Glenn Campbell. I'll see in a minute. The last lot had a shocking record on this kind of issue.

However, this also makes it much harder for Edinburgh's sleazy decisions over Caltongate to remain unchallenged. The local campaigners agree, and it's hard to see any inquiry there not demonstrating to a national audience the scale of opposition, the absurdity of the current plan, and the dubious financial practices of Labour in particular over this issue.

Mountgrange backed Labour

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trevorfinger.jpgOf course they did. What else could I assume when, back in 2006, I got hand-delivered "Vote Trevor" leaflets late one night, bundled with "Caltongate to save Edinburgh" propaganda?

However, now it's in the Times that £4000 was provided to Labour by Mountgrange, which they then spent on a champagne reception. Ah, takes me back to when "champagne socialist" was something Labour hacks used to find hurtful..

Image taken from the Independent Republic of the Canongate - thanks!

Hot air

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Stewart Stevenson debated my good friend Cllr Johnstone on Lesley Riddoch's show today. Challenged on how building motorways could reduce carbon emissions, he tried to broaden the issue by pointing out that "I'm breathing out carbon dioxide".

While the unkind might suggest a way to reduce those particular emissions, surely it would still be easier not to build all this soon-to-be-outdated infrastructure?

stevenson.jpgUpdate: 18 Feb
It's been pointed out to me that I used the wrong picture above. I should of course have used the one to the left.

Dark days

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roadsign.jpgSo the SNP are going ahead with the M74 with indecent haste, which suggests a couple of things.

First, the review we were promised can hardly have amounted to more than a quick call to the civil servant who designed the failed procurement process. "Hello Sir Humphrey, still happy with this single bidder business? Yes? Good, thanks awfully."

Second, John Swinney isn't worried about what would happen if the European Commission voided this contract, as they have the power to do. A pretty irresponsible position to put the Government in, and one that may come back to haunt them. As Sir Humphrey himself would have said, "a brave decision, Minister."

"Consequences for the timetable"

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M74protest.jpgIn case anyone was wondering what Ministers thought about the complaint to the European Commission about the M74, here's chapter and verse from John Swinney. "Consequences for the timetable" of course means "delays". I remain hopeful that this utterly failed scheme will not go through.

"We have spoken separately about the M74 and the government's position in relation to the complaint that has made to the European Commission.

"Clearly Scottish Ministers are in a unique position. The Scotland Act specifies that we must at all times act within European law. We are therefore taking this complaint seriously. We will co-operate fully with the European Commission (EC) if they decide to investigate the M74 procurement process and must comply with any instructions or conclusions even if that has consequences for the timetable. 

"We are confident that the process in relation to the M74 has been properly conducted but to ensure that our processes are robust and sound I have asked for them to be reviewed ahead of any potential investigation from the EC. The tender will not be signed before this internal review has been carried out.

"If the EC do intend to pursue this complaint, which could be a lengthy process, we will be required to re-examine our position. I am happy to expand on these points, on the record, in Parliament."

Also, if anyone can decipher this nonsense, please let me know.

Trumpling all over procedure

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donald trump.jpgFor those of you who've been confused by what the various parties are up to on the Trump application at Balmedie, here's a summary of the Holyrood positions:
SNP: we support the proposal, we support the process, and Ministers will make a fair decision even though everyone knows we'll bend over backwards to get it through.
Tories/Labour/Liberals: we support the proposal, but sense an opportunity to have a good square go at Alex Salmond over the process. (The Labour and Liberal Exec as was would also have done no better, incidentally, as we saw from McConnell's dealings with the Trump people).
Greens: we oppose the proposal in its current form, and believe planning law is being subverted for a rich bully. Bought and sold for Trump's gold, even.

Anyway, here's a couple of stories from another project elsewhere run by The Donald (depicted above left having his rug reinforced). Thanks to one of the staunch opponents of his Scottish plans for these.

Soho, New York. Local residents risk having to "spend their hard-earned money to try to force the city to enforce the law and treat billionaire developers by the same rules as everyone else." Sound familiar? The site is also (allegedly, my inner lawyer warns me to say) beset by accidents and shoddy workmanship.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Campaigns category from February 2008.

Campaigns: March 2008 is the next archive.